You can't see radon gas. And you can't smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home. The Salt Lake City, Utah area has some of the highest levels of Radon Gas in the Nation
Radon gas is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
- If you are buying a home or selling your home, have it tested for radon gas.
- For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and if the home has been tested.
- Fix the home if the radon gas level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
- Radon gas levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases, may be reduced.
Radon gas can be found all over the U.S.
Radon gas comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building — homes, offices, and schools — and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.
You should test for radon gas if buying a home in the Salt Lake City area.
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. EPA also recommends testing in schools.
Testing is inexpensive and easy — it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon (see How to Test Your Home).
You can fix a radon gas problem.
Radon reduction systems work and they are not too costly. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
New homes can be built with radon-resistant features.
Radon-resistant construction techniques can be effective in preventing radon entry. When installed properly and completely, these simple and inexpensive techniques can help reduce indoor radon levels in homes. In addition, installing them at the time of construction makes it easier and less expensive to reduce radon levels further if these passive techniques don't reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L. Every new home should be tested after occupancy, even if it was built radon-resistant. If radon levels are still in excess of 4 pCi/L, the passive system should be activated by having a qualified mitigator install a vent fan.
How Does Radon Gas Get Into Your Utah Home?
Any home may have a radon problem
Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
Radon from soil gas is the main cause of radon problems. Sometimes radon enters the home through well water (see "Radon in Water" below). In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, too. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.
RADON GAS GETS IN THROUGH:
1- Cracks in solid floors
2- Construction joints
3- Cracks in walls
4- Gaps in suspended floors
5- Gaps around service pipes
5- Cavities inside walls
7- The water supply