Radon was originally recognized as a potential health risk in the late 1980's. The media has utilized a lot of scare tactics (ahem... silent killer) that have alarmed many homeowners. While raising awareness for the issue is great, the way it has been presented to the public has also raised a lot of questions about its legitimacy. Many Utah residents have since asked, is radon an issue in Utah?
Since its initial discovery there has been much research done on radon and the effects that it may have on your health. In fact, the more information that we learn about it, the more concerning it can become. It is important to understand the health risk, how to test your home and what can be done if high radon levels are found.
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs when uranium in soil decays. It accounts for up to 70% of the radiation that we are exposed to here in Utah. In non-smokers it is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Because of the radiation, it can actually change the DNA structure in the lungs depending on level and length of exposure.
Past testing has shown an average of 1 in 3 homes throughout having high radon levels. The difficult thing about this is that only 1 in 5 homes have even been tested throughout the state. That means there are many homes out there not being tested and possibly having high radon levels. Because radon cannot be seen, tasted or smelled you must test your home to determine if you have high radon levels. It is important to note that your neighbors radon test, is not your own radon test. Homes right next door to each other can have drastically different radon levels and all homes should be tested regardless of geographic location.
If your home is tested, and comes back with a level of 4 or above, it is recommended that you immediately install a radon mitigation system. Anything above a 2.7 it is considered like a yellow light. You may not need to take immediate action but you should consider installing a system or retesting again before too long. These are recommended action levels as set by the EPA and WHO.
If you do have high radon levels, don't panic. It can easily be mitigated or removed with a system of pipes. These are installed throughout the house that will pull the radon from the soil before it ever enters your home. These are affordable and can be installed usually in just a few hours. When compared to the health risk that it can present, the expense of a radon mitigation system seems very minimal.
If you have seen the news stories and wondered is radon an issue in Utah, why risk it? It is free to test your home, simply fill out the form on this page. Once you have results you can determine the next steps to ensure the safety of your family.
Have questions? Call the radon experts at 801-871-0715.