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Friday is last day to enroll in a 4-H livestock project

The last day to enroll in a 4-H livestock project is tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 27.

Please bring your enrollment forms to the CSU extension office by 4 p.m. tomorrow.

There will be a mandatory livestock meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Extension Office for all 4-H’rs who have enrolled in a livestock project. If you are not able to attend the meeting, please call Arden at 264-5931.

Radon Action Month

Jan. is National Radon Action Month. Since we still have 75 percent of our community that had not yet been tested, the urgency remains!

To those who have tested their home for radon — thank you. Residents are urged to test their home (renters and owners) every five years. A screening takes only three days. Since January of last year, numerous people in our community have passed away because of lung cancer.

Long-term exposure to radon (class A carcinogen) is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. The risk to smokers increases significantly when living in a high radon environment, such as our area of Colorado. Prolonged exposure to radon is responsible for 350-1,400 deaths in this state annually. Put this in perspective — Bayfield reported a population of 2,333 for the 2010 census.

There are regions in our community that have significantly higher radon levels and many homes in those regions have not been tested. Two of every three homes tested last year had levels ranging from 1 to 315 Pico curies. Mitigation is recommended at 4 Pico curies per liter of air.

Last June, the Colorado Department of Health conducted a health survey by landline around the state. They found that, in this four-county region, 75 percent of those polled reported radon knowledge, but only 23 percent tested. The younger the population, the less was known about radon. More than half of 18- to 39-year-olds knew nothing about radon. For those who smoke cigarettes and live in homes with elevated radon, the risk of developing lung cancer increases more than 12 fold. Since the population of 18- to 39-year-olds smoke more than other age groups, this puts them at high health risk with less knowledge of what they are exposing themselves to.

Exposure is easily controlled. Start with a simple test. Radon has always been a natural part of our environment, particularly in this area. Decay of uranium found in soil granite produces radon. The geology, construction materials and structure of homes are individual factors.

If you are building a new home or an addition onto your existing home, please investigate radon resistant construction techniques. If one utilizes this, prevention is significantly less expensive, more effective, and more easily hidden using some simple techniques. Be sure to talk with your contractor (or give your local extension office a call) if you have questions. After your construction is completed, test again.

To help people better understand and appreciate radon, we have scheduled a community meeting to discuss radon (new construction and existing dwellings) and recommend actions that can be taken. This meeting will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Archuleta County CSU Extension office, 344 U.S. 84. We will provide information and screening kits to participants, at no charge. The results of your test are confidential. Know your numbers.

Calendar

Jan. 27 — Deadline to enroll in a 4-H Livestock project, 4 p.m.

Jan. 30 — Painting Group, 10 a.m.

Jan. 30 — Mandatory 4-H Livestock meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 — Radon awareness meeting, 1 p.m.

Feb. 1 — 4-H Sports Fishing project, 4 p.m.

Feb. 2 — Colorado Master Gardener Program, 9 a.m.

Feb. 2 — 4-H Shady Pine Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 3 — 4-H Colorado Mountainers Club meeting, 2 p.m.

Feb. 4 — 4-H Cloverbuds, 1:45 p.m.

Feb. 6 — Painting Group,10 a.m.

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