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Where is radon in Utah?

May 2, 2024
< 3 min read
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The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has issued a stark warning: at least one in three homes in Utah is believed to have dangerous radon levels. This means over 1 million Utahns are exposed to these hazardous levels every single day. 

Radon is a radioactive gas created when uranium in the ground decays. Utah is rich in uranium—so much so that 130 million pounds have been mined, and Utah is the third-largest uranium-producing state (according to the Utah Geological Survey). With such a large amount of uranium naturally present in the state, there is also a large amount of radon that seeps into homes and buildings.

Why should you be concerned about radon? 

Radon is a silent and invisible threat. It can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted, making it particularly dangerous. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause among smokers. Often, people are unaware of a radon problem until it's too late. Annually, 21,000 Americans lose their lives to radon-induced lung cancer, underscoring the critical need to understand where radon is present and how to address it.

What radon level is safe? 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), no safe radon level exists. Any amount poses a health risk due to the damage it can cause to your lungs (ionizing radiation). This being the case, the goal is to have as little radon in your home as possible. 

Radon is measured in pico curies per liter of air (pCi/L). Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide guidelines, or “action levels,” where they recommend having a radon mitigation system installed in a home. The EPA recommends considering mitigation at 2.0 pCi/L and strongly recommends mitigation at 4.0 pCi/L, while the WHO recommends mitigation at 2.7 pCi/L. 

The WHO’s action level is generally preferred over the EPA’s recommendation simply because mitigation technology has improved significantly since the EPA's recommendation (over 40 years ago) compared to the more recent WHO recommendation. However, both agree that the goal is to have as little radon gas in your home as possible and that the time to do something about it is when radon levels are in the 2.0 pCi/L+ range.  

Radon hot spots

Due to Utah’s geography, uranium and radon are present throughout the state. However, some locations have more than others. According to Alpha Energy Laboratories, a third-party radon testing lab that the State of Utah uses for their radon testing, the following cities have an excessive number of homes with dangerous radon levels (2.7 pCi/L or higher):

Highest (80% or more of homes tested had dangerous levels):

  • Alpine
  • Brigham City
  • Grantsville
  • Heber
  • Highland
  • Hyrum
  • Lindon
  • Midway
  • Morgan
  • Smithfield

Very High (60-79% of homes tested had dangerous levels):

  • American Fork
  • Bountiful
  • Cedar Hills
  • Centerville
  • Eagle Mountain
  • Elk Ridge
  • Herriman
  • Holladay
  • Lehi
  • Logan
  • Magna
  • Mapleton
  • Midvale
  • North Odgen 
  • Park City
  • Payson
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Riverton
  • Salem
  • Sandy
  • Santaquin
  • Saratoga Springs
  • South Jordan
  • Springville
  • Stansbury Park
  • Tooele
  • Vernal
  • West Jordan

High (50-59% of homes tested had dangerous levels):

  • Bluffdale
  • Cottonwood Heights
  • Draper
  • Farmington
  • Fruit Heights
  • Ogden
  • Orem
  • Provo
  • Salt Lake City
  • Spanish Fork
  • West Valley City
  • Woods Cross

Elevated (33-49% of homes tested had dangerous levels):

  • Cedar City
  • Clearfield
  • Kaysville
  • Layton
  • Murray
  • North Salt Lake
  • Syracuse
  • Taylorsville
  • Vineyard

It’s important to know that this is not an exhaustive list. According to the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General, every home should be tested for radon. It is not uncommon for neighbors living close by to have vastly different radon levels. This is because uranium deposits can vary widely, even in small geographic areas. 

Why you should test our home

The only way to know if your home has a high radon level is to test for it. Although various cities tend to have more homes with high radon than others, every home is susceptible and should be tested every two years, according to the EPA. 

Click here to request a free, simple radon test. 

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