Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) supports
National Radon Awareness Month

By now most Americans are aware that radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. For most non-smokers, radon gas is public enemy #1.

Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium in the soil, with a release into the air that we breathe. Radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Radon gas enters from below each home, with higher levels detected on the ground floor and lower-level living rooms.

Four years of radon testing of Chaffee County homes has revealed an average radon concentration of 8.2 picocuries per liter—more than double the EPA maximum level of 4.0 pC/L. This compares to radon levels throughout Colorado, with average levels being above 8.0 pCi/L. Yet perhaps this average, as high as it may sound, may be clouding over the possibility that your indoor radon concentration could be 10x or more-higher! Yes, extremely high levels of radon gas in Chaffee County homes do exist, and the only way to know is to test your home.

Per Wano Urbonas, Chaffee County Environmental Health Coordinator, “Handing out free radon test kits is so frustrating, if the homeowner stashes the kit in the top drawer next to the tv remote control and never uses it. We hope that Chaffee citizens make a New Years’ commitment to perform their free home radon test before January 31, and to ensure that indoor air quality is safely monitored and maintained…”
“Some residents have asked whether radon levels are higher in Salida or Buena Vista or in-between. A review of over 300 radon results have shown the following:
Buena Vista: average radon gas = 7.8 picocuries per liter
Salida: average radon gas = 7.4 picocuries per liter
The surrounding areas such as Poncha Springs and Nathrop have a limited sample size, yet are expected to reveal similar results. What I would like to emphasize is that over 30% of Chaffee County residential homes have radon levels more than twice the EPA recommended action level of 4 picocuries.”

Chaffee County Public Health currently has free radon test kits available (1 per household) in both our Salida and Buena Vista locations.

For more information regarding January Radon Action Month:
Chaffee County Public & Environmental Health:
Buena Vista office: (719) 207-1498
Salida office: (719) 539-4510