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Evaluating radon exposure

Construction of house on exposed soil

What is the problem?

Colorado has high levels of radon in the soil. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) model of predicted indoor air radon levels indicates 52 of the 64 counties in Colorado are likely to exceed 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). This is the level at which EPA recommends action. (http://www.epa.gov/radon/zonemap.html). Voluntary radon test results had not been compiled by county—resources have not been available. So Colorado had no data to compare with the EPA model predictions. Also, little was known about peoples' awareness of the need for testing, understanding of test results, or actions taken based on radon test results.

What did Tracking do?

The tracking program worked with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Radon Program to assess more than 85,000 radon test results. These results were voluntarily collected and reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment from 2005 to 2009. The tracking program also compiled and analyzed data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. This survey gathered information on what Colorado residents report about radon risk in their homes. The Colorado Tracking Network will include a radon topic page featuring this information. Maps and tables will help visualize the data.

Improved public health

The information and data on the tracking Web site will be a resource for public health and environmental practitioners and the public. It will help guide intervention strategies and encourage Colorado residents to test for radon in their homes. Testing provides residents with information about indoor air radon levels. This addition to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's radon dataset will help to better understand radon levels in the state.


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