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With as many as 20,000 deaths each year caused by Radon-induced lung cancer, you owe it to yourself and your family to find out everything you can about this radioactive gas. There is no safe level for Radon in Utah in your home. If it's there, you need to take action right away to reduce your exposure. Testing is the only way to know if you have been affected because exposure to Radon in Utah doesn't produce any symptoms. In fact, it can take years before you notice any problems.
What is Utah Radon?
Radon in Utah is a single-atom gas that you cannot see, taste or smell. It can easily penetrate common items in the home such as water, paper, paint, plastic bags, leather, sheetrock, wood paneling, and other building materials. Children and those who smoke carry a higher risk of developing lung cancer from exposure, but anyone can inhale its fumes or accidentally ingest it. Since Radon in Utah is a natural gas, rather than a substance made commercially, the danger comes as it breaks down and is converted into decay products that attach themselves to dust and other airborne materials.
Utah radon's presence in buildings such as homes, business offices and schools is more concentrated than it is outside in the open air, so Radon in Utah can be quite dangerous if it goes unnoticed. In fact, Radon in Utah has been declared by the U.S. Surgeon General to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in Utah. It is a nation-wide problem. Elevated levels of Radon have been found in Utah and every state. Current surveys across the nation have shown that 20 percent of homes have this problem.
What To Do About Utah Radon in the Home
The only way to know if your home is contaminated with Radon in Utah is to test for its presence. Current recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency is that all living areas lower than the third floor should be tested. Luckily, testing for Radon in Utah is not very expensive. It is done with a simple testing kit. Instructions on how to do the testing come with each kit.
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The goal is to lower the amount of Utah Radon in your home to levels that are equal to the levels of Radon in Utah outside, so if the home test kit reveals elevated levels of this cancer-causing gas, steps need to be taken immediately to reduce exposure. The best method utilizes a pipe and fan system that pulls the Radon in Utah up from below your home and then vents it to the outside. This is the least evasive method because it doesn't require you to make structural changes. A building contractor can take care of this for you.
It's also a good idea to invest in sealing any foundation cracks you might have. That will prevent the inflow of Radon in Utah into your home. However, it is not a satisfactory method all by itself. As your foundation continues to settle, Utah radon will find new ways of getting in. Likewise, keeping your home well ventilated will also help to temporarily reduce Radon levels in Utah while your windows and doors are open, but that is not a permanent solution either. Your local contractor can help assess your needs and offer more permanent methods.