Lead and Radon
Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children 6 years old and under are most at risk because their bodies are growing quickly.
Research suggests that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:
- Deteriorating lead-based paint,
- Lead contaminated dust, and
- Lead contaminated residential soil
If you suspect lead poisoning, please contact your local county office.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is emitted as uranium breaks down in the soil. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Everyone in the United States has some level of radon gas in their home. There is a very low level of radon even in the outside air that we breathe. Radon has been found sporadically in Sevier and Piute counties, but it is not widespread or common.
Can it harm me and my family?
YES! The EPA has determined radon gas to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. (after the act of smoking). Any house testing at or over 4 picocuries (pCi)* per liter needs to be fixed per EPA recommendations.
*Definition: Measurement of radioactivity. One picocurie is one million millionth, or a trillionth, of a curie and equals 0.037 becquerel, and represents about 2.2 radioactive particle disintegrations per minute.
The radioactive particles in the gas attach to your lung tissue and break down which can lead to cancer over the course of your lifetime. The amount of time between your exposure and the onset of cancer may be many years.
If you have smoked, or are a smoker, you are at greater risk for developing lung cancer. Children tend to be at a higher risk for developing cancer as well according to EPA radon information.
How does it get into my home?
Because it is a gas, radon seeps into your home through small cracks and holes in foundations, crawlspaces and slabs.
All types of homes are susceptible, 2 story homes, colonials, bi-levels and ranchers.
Even houses with walk-out basements, crawlspaces or slabs can have a radon problem.
How can I determine my radon level?
Testing is the only way to determine your radon level. You may do your own test or have a professional company perform one for you. Don't be fooled into thinking that your house will have levels the same as your neighbor's - radon levels vary from house to house.
Where can I get radon level test kits?
You can order a test kit from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality:
Phone Orders: 1-800-324-5928 ext. 21 or 22
Online: www.radon.utah.gov and click "Order a Test Kit."
Test kits are also available in local hardware stores. Since the tests are all a little different, be sure to follow the directions on the kit you buy. The tests usually have to be mailed off to the company's lab for analysis.
If you suspect radon poisoning, please contact your local county office.
To learn more about these topics, please visit:
- Utah Department of Environmental Quality
- Lead Paint Hazards
- Determining paint needs
- Painting Tips
- Proper Paint Disposal