State funding assists low-income households with radon mitigation

PRESS RELEASE
January 30, 2019

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer nationwide after smoking, causing more than 500 lung cancer deaths in Colorado each year. The cost of mitigation can be an obstacle for many families, but a new opportunity will aid low-income Colorado homeowners seeking to eliminate the risk of radon exposure.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is now offering a Low Income Assistance for Radon Mitigation (LIRMA) program for homeowners around the state. Homes that test higher than the EPA’s action limit of four picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) of air, and qualify as a low-income household, may be eligible for a free radon mitigation system.

Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that is present in high levels in nearly half of the homes in Garfield County. It originates from uranium in the soil, and can build to concentrated levels indoors, especially during the winter months when doors and windows are closed.

Fixing radon levels in a home is less expensive than many home repairs, and is an effective way to reduce your risk of lung cancer. The cost of mitigation averages $1,500 – $2,500, which may be too much for some residents to afford. The state created the LIRMA program to ensure more homeowners are able to protect their health.

Testing for radon is simple; Kits are available to everyone free of charge through Garfield County Public Health. Renters are also encouraged to test their homes, and to work with their landlord if mitigation is necessary. Test kits can be picked up at Garfield County Public Health departments at 2014 Blake Ave. in Glenwood Springs, 195 West 14th St. in Rifle, or at the Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) office at the Third Street Center, 520 S. 3rd St., in Carbondale.

Information and an application for the LIRMA program is online at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/low-income-radon-mitigation-assistance or by calling Garfield County Public Health at 970-665-6383.

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