San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is offering a series of radon education workshops to assist residents in learning how to test for the cancer-causing gas in their homes and businesses. January is National Radon Action Month, and winter is the best time to test for radon because levels are highest when windows and doors are closed.

Radon is colorless, odorless, radioactive and naturally present in local soil. The gas travels upwards through cracks in your foundation into your home or business space. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked, causing an estimated 21,000 deaths annually.

In Archuleta and La Plata counties, between one third and one half of homes have radon levels high enough to warrant mitigation, and testing is the only way to know for sure what a building’s radon levels are. Radon test results cannot be predicted by neighbors’ results or testing that is outdated. Homeowners who already have a radon mitigation system should re-test every few years to ensure the system continues to work properly.

SJBPH will host a series of free in-person radon testing workshops and one free online workshop where attendees will learn how to test a home properly, how to find a certified testing professional for businesses and rental properties, and how to interpret and respond to test results. Attendees will receive as many free home testing kits as needed based on the size or layout of their home. Radon mitigation, if indicated by test results, is relatively easy, generally costs less than other home repair projects, and can save your life. Financial assistance for low-income households to complete radon mitigation is also available.

Help keep your home safe by signing up for one of our radon education workshops. The initial workshop schedule is as follows:

  • Jan. 25, 1-2 p.m., Durango Public Library, 1900 E. 3rd Ave., Durango
  • Feb. 1, 6-7 p.m., Durango Public Library
  • Feb. 16, 6-7 p.m., via zoom (registration required via the Eventbrite link above)

Additional workshops in Archuleta and La Plata County will be announced in the coming days and can be found via the Eventbrite link above and all SJBPH social media channels. For more information, call (970) 335-2060 or visit sjbpublichealth.org/radon.