Residents of Carbon, Emery and Grand Counties Will Be Provided Free Radon Tests
The Southeast Utah Health Department and Utah Radon Coalition, with assistance from Huntsman Cancer Institute, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Utah Department of Health Environmental Epidemiology Program and AARP Utah, will conduct their “Radon Can Harm You” campaign Nov. 1 through Feb. 28 in Carbon, Emery and Grand counties.
Campaign activities will include furnishing information about the dangers of radon to area residents, supplying free radon tests to residents and providing free radon mitigation services to ten low-income families in the project area. If they desire, cancer survivors and caregivers who apply for a test will receive evidence-based cancer survivorship information designed to enhance the quality of survival.
Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. for non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is responsible for more than 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year.
Carbon, Emery and Grand counties were chosen for the event for many reasons. Soil in all three counties has extremely high levels of radon; previous testing has shown high radon levels in more than 30 percent of homes. There is an abundance of cancer survivors in the counties, many who have been treated with radiation and may be susceptible to an emergence of secondary cancers or a recurrence of their primary cancer if exposed to radon. In addition, lung cancer mortality rates for the counties are the highest in the state and adult smoking rates in the three counties are the highest in Utah. Finally, radon testing rates are extremely low.
According to Michael Siler, President and CEO of the Utah Radon Coalition, residents can apply for the test online at either www.utahradoncoalition.org/free-radon-test.html or www.seuhealth.com/radon. Tests will be mailed directly to the resident’s home and will be returned for analysis with postage paid mail.
“Testing is the first step in protecting families from radon and we’re making testing easy with our activity. We know lives will be saved if folks take advantage of the free test and we sincerely hope they will,” Siler said.