Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 19, 2022
Check your home for Radon gas

January is Radon month 

One in three homes have dangerous levels of Radon gas, according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is known as the “silent killer,” because it is tasteless, odorless, and invisible to the naked eye.

The gas is constantly being generated by the radium in rocks, soil, water, and materials derived from rocks and soils, such as certain building materials, and is naturally occurring in the soils and rocks of the earth’s crust.

Radon often leaks into a home through openings like cracks in the foundation, regardless of a home’s age and whether or not the home has a basement.

Radon is also the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers, according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Although Utah has the lowest rate of smoking in the nation, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the state, because of radon.

“Radon is known as the silent killer,” said Matt McPherson, public information officer with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. “Radon is measured in units called picocuries. Anything higher than four picocuries is not considered safe. The average radon level in Utah homes that have been tested was 5.3 picocuries. Every 10 picocuries is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.”

Because radon is found in one out of every three homes, including homes in Tooele County, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality is offering $10.95 test kits at for National Radon Action Month.

Tooele County residents can test their homes themselves by picking up a test kit from the Tooele County Health Department for only $5.

“During the winter, we are often focused on our outdoor air quality,” said Eleanor Divver, DEQ Radon Program Coordinator. “Now that we are spending more time in our homes — working, exercising, and attending virtual school, we should also take a look at our indoor air quality. Testing your home for radon is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk.”


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