Jan 05, 2018 3:00 PM

Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. But how do you protect yourself from a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell?

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon.

How does radon get in your home?

Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium that is in the soil. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up.

In Utah, around 1 in 3 homes have high radon levels. These high levels can be found in any kind of home.

What are the health risks of radon?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. If you have high levels of radon in your home, radioactive gas particles can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As these particles break down further, they can damage your lungs. This damage can lead to lung cancer over time. The risk of developing lung cancer from radon depends on:

- How much radon is in your home
- The amount of time you spend in your home
- Whether you have smoked or currently smoke

What can you do?

You can test for radon in your home. Testing is easy and doesn’t take much time. Home testing kits are available online and at home improvement stores. Follow the instructions that come with your test kit. If you find elevated levels of radon—4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or higher—take steps to fix your home.

When you move, you should test your new home for radon. It’s also best to re-test your home every few years, because radon levels can change over time.

For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency or the Cancer Learning Center.

radon lung cancer cancer prevention cancer learning center

Cancer touches all of us.

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