January is National Radon Action Month and local agencies San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) and Colorado State University Extension Office of La Plata County encourage you to take action to reduce your exposure to radon.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that can only be detected through radon testing. It is produced by the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils across the United States. Due to the natural geology of Southwest Colorado, the percentage of homes in this area with unsafe levels of radon is higher than the national average. Radon gas can seep in through cracks in foundations, crawl spaces, or well water. Winter is the best time to test your home for radon levels.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year and over 500 annually in the state of Colorado. SJBPH and CSU Extension encourage local residents to take action by attending a radon workshop to receive a free radon test kit and to complete home testing this winter.

Colorado State University Extension of La Plata County is offering free learning sessions to inform residents of the prevalence of radon in our community, private testing options, and information on what to do if found in a home. Free screening kits will be available. Wendy Rice, Family and Consumer Science Educator, will host the next session Tuesday January 16th from 6-7pm p.m. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Upcoming sessions are also scheduled in Bayfield and Pagosa Springs. For details, questions, and to RSVP, please call 970-382-6461.