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Only way to know if your home is safe is to test

PROVO, UT (December 28, 2014) - - Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after smoking. It is estimated to cause about 21,000 deaths per year according to the EPA's 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes. This invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas is naturally formed by the decay of uranium in underground rock, soil, and water. Radon gas seeps up through the ground to the breathable air above. Outdoor air effectively disperses the gas. But indoors, where people generally spend approximately 90 percent of their time, elevated levels of radon are found in nearly one out of three homes throughout the United States.

The only way to tell if radon is present in your home is to test. Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores, online from radon testing companies, or at the Utah County Health Department (UCHD). Many test kits are available for under $25. Kits are available for $10 from the UCHD's Division of Environmental Health at either the Provo office (151 S University Ave, Suite 2600) or in American Fork (599 South 500 East).

While no level of radon exposure is safe, the EPA recommends action be taken if long-term exposure reaches 4 pCi/L or above. When testing results in a need for action, repairs can be done to reduce these levels. Repairs generally cost about the same as other common home improvements such as painting or having a new hot water heater installed.

For information on Utah County Radon Programs, please see http://www.utahcountyonline.org/Dept2/Health/Health%20Promotion/Environmental%20Health%20Ed/Home.asp or call 801-851-7509.

The Utah County Health Department is committed to promoting the health of our community by preventing avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community to assure conditions in which people can be healthy. For information on UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth. org or call 801-851-7000. You can also now follow the UCHD at www.FaceBook.com/uchealth, www.instagram.com/UtahCountyHe althDept, www.twitter.com/uchd, or www.pinterest.com/uchd.