Invisible to the eye and without any smell or taste, radon gas may seep unknowingly into your house, inhaling it is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
But exposure to radon is preventable with a simple inexpensive test.
The Tooele County Health Department estimates that one out of every three homes in Tooele County have radon levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action level of 4 picocuries per liter of air.
In some neighborhoods one house may have a radon level above the action level while a home across the street may be lower. Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated levels, according to health department officials.
January is National Radon Action Month and local and state officials are urging Utah homeowners to test their homes for the cancer causing gas.
Home test kits for radon are available for purchase at the Tooele County Health Department for $5, while supplies last. The $5 cost includes the test kit and processing.
To use the test kit, which is about the size of the palm of a hand, the kit needs to be opened and set in a room for 48 to 96 hours. The kit is then dropped into the provided envelope and mailed in to be processed.
Radon is a radioactive gas produced by the natural decay of uranium found in soil, rocks, and water. It is the leading cause of death from lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States.
Winter is the perfect time to test your home for radon because doors and windows are closed. Radon may leak into and accumulate in homes through openings like cracks in the foundation, regardless of a home’s age and whether or not the home has a basement.
For more information about Radon Action Month activities, hiring a certified professional to mitigate radon or how to test your home, visit tooelehealth.org or radon.utah.gov.