Radon mitigation is underway at the Pitkin County Library after routine tests showed elevated levels of the gas in some non-public areas of the library building.
Areas affected include a storage room, staff kitchen/break room and an office all located on the lower level of the library. Radon testing was conducted in advance of the library expansion and remodel project now underway.
“Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is quite prevalent in Colorado because of our geology,” said Pitkin County Environmental Health Manager, Kurt Dahl. “We are in the process of designing and installing a mitigation system for the affected areas. There is no need to close the facility until the system is installed,” Dahl said.
The discovery of radon in the library comes on the heels of ‘Radon Action Month’ in January during which a community-wide effort was undertaken to educate the public about it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to radon is responsible for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths nationwide each year.
“The good news is that the elevated levels in the library were found in places where library staff spend very little time and the public spends no time at all,” Dahl said. “It is also important to check radon levels in your home and even though Radon Action Month was in January we are still giving away free radon test kits.”
Free radon testing kits are still available to Pitkin County residents by calling Pitkin County Environmental Health at 920-5070 and to City of Aspen residents by calling Aspen Environmental Health at 920-5039. Additional information can be found at www.coloradoradon.info and www.epa.gov/radon