During winter months, Utahns move many activities indoors to avoid snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.…
The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes in the U.S. has dangerous levels of radon gas in their homes1. In Utah, they estimate 1 in 3 homes has dangerous levels —5 times higher than the national average2. Please see the attached radon level map for Salt Lake Valley created from thousands of radon tests in the last 6 years.
Why does this matter? Because radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers3 killing hundreds of Utahns every year. Even though Utah has the lowest smoking rate in the nation4, lung cancer kills more Utahns than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined3. These deaths are preventable! We receive calls every week from residents who have never smoked a day in their lives who have been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Too few Utahns know about radon, how harmful it is, and how easy it is to test for. Our goal is to do everything we can to support Utah news stations in their efforts to educate and protect the residents of Utah. One of the ways we are doing this is by providing a monthly article about radon. The content can be shared with residents in any way you feel would be beneficial (website, social media, etc). We also offer one free radon test kit per household to all residents.
What is Radon? Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium in the ground. Uranium is found in all rocks and soils and in some water. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It escapes from the ground into the air where it decays and produces other radioactive particles. These particles come in contact with our lungs which can result in lung cancer. The only way to detect radon is to test for it.
1 Health Risk of Radon / US EPA. www.epa.gov/radon/health-risk-radon
2 Radon Program / Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
3 Key Statistics for Lung Cancer / American Cancer Society. www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
4 Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.