General Radon Information

Utah specific radon and radon level information can be found throughout this site. You will be able to find information about certified radon inspectors in Utah, as well as detailed radon level information for every county in Utah.

Radon is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that comes from the decay of uranium. It is the heaviest naturally occurring noble gas. Radon occurs in trace concentrations and frequently provides characteristic signatures identifying the nature of its source. Due to its radioactive nature it can be a health hazard by increasing the risk of lung cancer (Reimer and Tanner, 1992; USEPA, 2000a). The movement of radon in the geologic environment is of research interest to earth scientists because of the varied applications for which it can be used; earthquake prediction, tracing atmospheric and oceanic circulation (Reimer and Tanner, 1992), ground water flow (Gascoyne et al., 1993) to name a few.

Radon gas in the indoor air of America's homes poses a serious health risk. More than 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer every year.

When radon decays and is inhaled into the lungs, it releases energy that can damage the DNA in sensitive lung tissue and lead to lung cancer. In fact, prolonged exposure to high levels of radon contributes to between 7,000 and 30,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Smokers are at higher risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer. There are no short-term radon exposure symptoms that have ever been documented. You will not have any other bodily symptoms such as joint pain, stomach or intestinal problems, headaches, or rashes from short-term radon exposure at natural environmental levels (4 pCi/liter or less).

Radon gets into the indoor air primarily from soil under homes and other buildings. Radon is a known human lung carcinogen and is the largest source of radiation exposure and risk to the general public. Most inhaled radon is rapidly exhaled, but the inhaled decay products readily deposit in the lung, where they irradiate sensitive cells in the airways increasing the risk of lung cancer.

Millions of homes have an elevated radon level. It is recommended that you test your home for radon every two years, and retest any time you move, make structural changes to your home, or occupy a previously unused level of a house. Short-term tests take 60 hours to complete. The house is closed for 12 hours, then the test instrument is activated or opened and left in place for 48 hours or more.Long-term tests take more than 91 days to complete and are conducted with the house in a normal living mode. Alpha track detectors or electronic detection instruments are used. Long-term test results give a more representative picture of the true radon levels in the home over time as fluctuations due to changes in ambient temperature and barometric pressure are detected and factored into the final valuation. If you have a radon level of 4 pCi/L or more, take steps to remedy the problem as soon as possible.

The primary goal of the Utah Division of Radiation Control's (DRC) Indoor Radon Program is to reduce the level of indoor radon in the state of Utah to concentrations less than the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) action level of 4 pCi/L (pico-Curies per liter).

"Americans need to know about the risks of indoor radon and have the information and tools they need to take action. That's why EPA is actively promoting the Surgeon General's advice urging all Americans to get their homes tested for radon. If families do find elevated levels in their homes, they can take inexpensive steps that will reduce exposure to this risk," said Jeffrey R. Holmstead, Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"Based on national averages, we can expect that many of the homes owned or financed by federal government programs would have potentially elevated radon levels. The federal government has an opportunity to lead by example on this public health risk. We can accomplish this by using the outreach and awareness avenues we have, such as EPA's Web site, to share information and encourage action on radon to reduce risks," said Edwin Piņero, Federal Environmental Executive, Office of the Federal Environmental Executive (OFEE).