The Leading Cause of Cancer Among Non-Smokers
(ASPEN, CO.) Pitkin County and the City of Aspen are again offering free radon test kits throughout January, National Radon Action Month. The kits will be given away until they’re gone at City Hall, 130 S. Galena St., Aspen, CO. City of Aspen residents may pick up a kit at the Environmental Health Dept. office on the 2nd floor and Pitkin County residents can pick up a kit at the Community Development office on the 3rd floor. Radon kits normally sell for as much as $40.00. There are several hundred free kits available.
“We want to encourage property owners to take this threat very seriously. Radon gas buildup indoors causes cancer and there are simple things people can do to ventilate their homes if they test and discover radon buildup,” said City of Aspen Senior Environmental Health Program Coordinator, Jannette Whitcomb.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is not harmful at outdoor levels, but that can build up inside homes. Radon is the leading cause of cancer in non-smokers and the second-leading cause of cancer in smokers. Radon is estimated to cause 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the US, making it more deadly than drunk driving, drowning, or home fires.
“Pitkin County and the City of Aspen have a high potential for having rocks likely to produce radon,” said Pitkin County Environmental Health Manager, Carla Ostberg. “Radon levels can vary from home to home, even those that are next door to one another,” Ostberg said.
The EPA recommends that all homes be tested for radon. This radon kit giveaway will allow people to find out for themselves if their homes have acceptable radon levels. Testing involves placing a radon test kit in a lower area of the house that is occupied (not a crawl space) for a few days and then mailing the kit away and waiting for the results. Pitkin County and the City of Aspen Environmental Health staff will be available to assist those wanting help interpreting their test results.
Depending on the level found, there are several things that residents can do to lower radon levels, and information will be provided to homeowners who are interested in having remediation work done. For more information, please contact Carla Ostberg with Pitkin County at 970-920-5438 or Jannette Whitcomb with the City of Aspen at 970-920-5069.
Pick up free radon test kits at City Hall, 130 S. Galena Street, Aspen, CO. City of Aspen residents may pick up a kit at the Environmental Health Department office on the 2nd floor and Pitkin County residents can pick up a kit at the Community Development office on the 3rd floor.