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Chaffee County Public Health will make free radon test kids and lead test kits available to county to residents thanks to a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The kits will be available at their public health locations in both Salida and Buena Vista (while supplies last, one per household of each).

January is National Radon Action Month. Radon gas is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. It is naturally-occurring, invisible and odorless. Unless you test your home, you will not know what your indoor radon level is. Approximately 50 percent of Colorado homes have radon levels in excess of the EPA recommended action level of 4 PCi/L (picocuries per liter), and all of Colorado’s 64 counties are rated at high risk for elevated radon.

Lead poisoning is the number one preventable environmental health threat to children. Based on CDPHE data from 2009 to 2016, about 1 in 30 children who receive blood lead testing have elevated blood lead levels. These children have a higher risk for developing intellectual, behavioral, and academic deficits caused by lead poisoning.

The primary source of lead exposure in Colorado is inside the home. Common sources of lead in the home are lead-based paint, dust, soil, water or other contaminated sources. Lead test kids are recommended 1) If you live in a home built before 1978 that is in poor condition; 2) You are remodeling your older home; AND 3) You have young children. If you are concerned your child has been exposed to lead, please contact your physician to discuss getting a blood test for lead.

Residents can also purchase radon and lead test kits from multiple retailers online (Amazon, Walmart) for around $15. If you want more information about radon testing, contact Chaffee County Environmental Health Manager Wano Urbonas, at (719) 207-1498. For more information on lead poisoning prevention and screening, Emily Anderson, RN at (719) 530-2566.