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. Testing your home is easy and, if necessary, fixing the problem is much easier and cheaper than other home repairs.

Radon exposure is the nation's second-leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause in people who have never smoked. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that exposure to radon in the home is responsible for over 500 deaths annually in the state of Colorado. SJBPH and CSU Extension encourage local residents to take action by learning how to use a free radon test kit and how to understand your results so you can keep your family safe.

Testing Workshops

SJBPH holds free online radon testing workshops in January and February, for Archuleta, La Plata, and San Juan County residents. Radon test kits for first-time testing are made available for pick-up after these workshops, along with training on how to properly set up a test and how to interpret your results. To maximize test accuracy, SJBPH does not distribute radon tests without also training you how to use them properly. In general, SJBPH does not recommend first-time testing in the spring and summer, but follow-up testing may be done at any time.

If you attended a workshop and still need a test, please call 970-335-2060 to make an appointment. Long-term test kits are available for follow-up testing year-round. To obtain a follow-up test kit, call 970-335-2060.

Radon Facts

  1. Testing for Radon

The first step to understanding your radon exposure is to perform a short-term radon screening test. Test kits are placed in the home for three to seven days and then mailed to a laboratory using a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Test kits should be hung in the air in the center of a room on the lowest living level of a home (including a finished basement if it is regularly used).

Test kits are available for free from SJBPH at our workshops. By attending a 30 to 45 minute workshop, you can understand how to properly place, deploy, take down, and mail the test kit.

Winter is the ideal time to test for radon because it's hard for radon to rise through layers of snow or frozen ground, which means it may find an easier path through cracks in your foundation or through your crawlspace or well water. SJBPH recommends that all first-time radon testing be done in the winter months. Subject to funding availability, SJBPH will offer radon workshops every winter.

As of July 1, 2022, all radon testing in Colorado must be done by a licensed radon professional, except for homeowners testing a home that they own and occupy.

Reminders: time your three-to-seven-day short-term radon test such that the test is complete by Monday morning. Then take your kit to the post office, after removing the hanging hook. Make sure the kit is at your post office prior to the mail going out on Monday. If you miss this deadline, the kit may not arrive at the laboratory before it expires on Thursday. Write down your test kit serial number before you mail it so you can look up the results.

  1. Fixing a Radon Problem
  1. Radon & Your Health