Utah has one of the highest concentrations of radon of any state in the US. 1 in 3 homes have dangerous levels of radon in Utah. As a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer, it is important for all residents to be aware of radon – what it does, why it is so prevalent, and what they can do about it.
If you breathe in radon in enough quantities it can lead to lung cancer. The EPA lists radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US behind smoking.
Dangerous Radon in Utah Awareness
Radon is a dangerous enemy, you can’t taste it, see it, or smell it. This means that your senses cannot detect radon and you might not know it’s in your home for years and years until one day when you find out you have lung cancer. The unfortunate thing is often cancer from Radon isn’t detected until it is too late. Long exposures of time can lead to lung cancer. If you are aware of the danger of radon and you are able to test your home now, you can take measures to protect yourself against radon’s radioactivity by installing a radon system.
There is generally a lack of awareness around radon throughout the US, even in Utah. Utah residents tend to be pretty prepared. The average Utah citizen protects themselves against outages and other disasters, storing water and food. But they do not think about the more long-term disaster of radon. The statistic that one in three homes have high levels of radon gas comes from a survey of 17,500 homes, with many more yet to be tested.
Test Your Utah Home for Radon
The main issue with radon in Utah and other locations as compared to other disasters that many residents are not aware of radon so are unable to detect it with human senses. There are a number of different devices that can sense radon, but if you don’t have one of these devices you will not know there is radon in your home.
Given the high concentration of radon, Utah residents would do well to check the level of radon in their homes, and retest once a system has been installed at a minimum of every two years. If you are adding to your home, or renovating, test again after the work is completed. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Radiation Control actually cites this “out of sight, out of mind problem” as one of the major reasons Utah residents are in danger.
Radon is produced as a byproduct of uranium decay. Uranium “decays” as it slowly turns into a number of different elements, one of which is the gas radon. Being a gas, radon is able to seep up from its radioactive source in the ground into your home. This is why radon is found in its greatest concentrations in basements: they are closest to the source.
Why is Radon in Utah?
Radon in Utah is particularly concentrated because of the high level of radioactive material in Utah’s earth. Like other mining states, Utah has a uniquely high amount of uranium, and this means massively more amounts of radon reach living spaces compared to other states.
As a gas, radon can flow throughout your home beyond just the basement. Even if you don’t spend long amounts of time in your basement, you may still be at risk if your home’s airflow pattern promotes the flow of radon into commonly used spaces within your home. Do you have dangerous levels of Radon in your Utah home? You can protect your home from radon relatively easily by installing a radon system.