Radon Frequently Asked Questions
What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. It is commonly found throughout the world in soil, rocks, and groundwater.
Can radon make me sick?
Yes. Breathing radon increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind cigarette smoke. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
How does radon get into my home?
Radon typically moves up through the ground into the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. There are many factors that contribute to the concentration of radon in the home such as source strength, pathways, and driving forces.
Find Out. Fix it. Follow Up.
How do I get my home tested for radon?
Davis County Resident (Seasonal Testing)
- The Health Department offers free radon testing for all Davis County residents from November through March each year. To sign up complete the Radon Test Request Form or contact the Health Department anytime between October 1st and March 31st to get on the waiting list. You will need to provide your name, phone number, and address. The waiting list is typically 2-6 weeks out from the time you call until you are able to get your home tested. A Health Department representative will call you to set up an appointment.
Davis County Resident (Year Round Testing) or Non-Davis County Resident
- Test kits can also be ordered year round at www.radon.utah.gov for $8.95. This price includes the laboratory analysis and postage to mail the device back to laboratory. It takes approximately 2-4 days for the test kit to arrive after it is ordered.
Urgent Test Needed/Hire Contractor
- If there is a real estate transaction involved or urgency please visit the state’s website at www.radon.utah.gov and navigate to ‘test your home’ tab. There is a list of radon testers from which to select. In rare cases, the Health Department representative may have next day availability if there is a cancellation.
What should I do if my radon test shows that my levels are high?
The Environmental Protection Agency action limit is 4 pCi/L. The EPA protocol for a non-real estate transaction is to conduct a follow up test for results above the action limit. The follow up test may either be another short term test or a long term test depending on how high the initial test result was. If the initial test result was above 8 pCi/L another short term test should be conducted. If the initial test results was between 4 pCi/L and 8 pCi/L either a long term or short term test should be conducted.
When a short term test is conducted for a follow up test the average of the two tests should be calculated. If the average is at or above 4 pCi/L, mitigation is strongly recommended. If the follow up test conducted is a long term test, use the results of the long term test only. If the long term test result is at or above 4 pCi/L, mitigation is strongly recommended.
How often should I test/re-test my home for radon?
You should test/re-test your home whenever your living patterns change or your home has been modified. For example, if you recently finished your basement and members of your family spend a significant amount of time down there, you should have your home tested on that floor.
It is also recommended that you re-test your home sometime in the future, even if the test result is below 4 pCi/L.
How much can a radon mitigation system cost?
Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99 percent. Most homes can be mitigated for about $1,000 to $1,500. Your costs may vary depending on the size and design of your home and which radon reduction methods are needed. You should get an estimate from two or more certified. A list of certified radon mitigation contractors can be found at www.radon.utah.gov.