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Where is the Outrage About High Radon Levels in Utah?

Utah Radon Services
April 11, 2023
< 4 min read
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Radon News - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Surgeon General, World Health Organization (WHO), American Cancer Society, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and dozens of other trusted organizations all agree that radon is a major public health concern and a Class A carcinogen. If radon is so dangerous, why don’t you see TV commercials from law firms asking people if they have been affected by radon?  We’ve all likely seen law firm commercials late at night asking if you have been affected by mesothelioma from asbestos in old home building products. There are about 2,500 deaths per year in the U.S. as a result of mesothelioma compared to over 21,000 radon-induced lung cancer deaths. So, why don’t you see commercials asking about radon-induced lung cancer?

The simple answer is that there is no outrage or big advertising campaign against radon because there is no one to sue. There’s no money to be made by corporations because radon isn’t the result of a product used by a company, and therefore there is no one to sue for a large settlement.

Radon is a natural gas that comes from uranium found in the earth and Utah, unfortunately, has higher radon than most parts of the country. This radioactive gas gets into homes from the dirt, clay, rocks, sand, and gravel below the foundation and is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

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No Mothers Against High Radon?

There are very well-known organizations against dangers like drunk driving; however, radon kills more people each year than drunk driving. The EPA estimates that over 21,000 people die each year from the effects of radon, but it hasn’t received the risk recognition of other causes of death in the U.S.

Utah Legislation Against High Radon?

Smoking has been dramatically reduced because of legislation against big tobacco companies. However, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking, and the EPA has left most legislation decisions up to individual states.  Some states have very proactive radon laws that require testing or mitigation. Sadly, there are no “meaningful regulations” regarding radon in homes. Utah has a long way to go to catch up to other states’ radon laws, but we are starting to make progress, and the public is starting to become more aware of the dangers of radon through radon in the news.

Even though it is not a legal requirement, the EPA recommends considering mitigation if your radon level tests at or above 2.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and the WHO recommends mitigation at 2.7 pCi/L. The EPA also strongly recommends that you have a radon mitigation system installed at or above 4.0 pCi/L. 1 in 3 Utah homes tests at or above this level of radon, so all homes should be tested every two years.

The scary truth is that Utah homes are five times more likely than the rest of the U.S. to have high and unsafe levels of radon, and the only way to know your radon level is to test your home.

Salt Lake County Radon Levels

Utah County Radon Levels

Davis County Radon Levels

What Should Utahns Do About Radon?

The good news is that high radon is a very fixable problem. The first step is to test your home for radon and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Radon testing is free and simple when you request a test from Utah Radon Services. 

In addition to testing, everyone can help raise awareness about radon risks in Utah in both big and small ways. From sharing facts with friends and family members and posting on social media to contacting your local government, you can help save lives from being lost due to radon exposure.

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