State and county health officials are urging residents to test their houses this month for a cancer-causing gas that's odorless, colorless and tasteless.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends every homeowner test their property for radon during the month of January, when readings are likely to be their most accurate. That's because it's the time of year when temperatures are coldest and windows are usually shut (this winter not withstanding).
Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, behind cigarette smoke. It's the byproduct of decomposing uranium - a metal found in the ground across Colorado, often in trace amounts.
Its levels can vary from house to house, even on the same block. And more than half of the houses in El Paso County are at elevated risk for the gas, which seeps from the ground into houses, usually via holes in crawlspaces or though spaces between walls.
The gas can often be mitigated for $800 to $1,200, state health officials say.
To learn more, call El Paso County Public Health at 578-3199 and select option 3, or call the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Radon Lab at 255-3584. Homeowners also can visitelpasocountyhealth.org orcoloradoradon.info.