Radon awareness events under way in January

Health • Rally, education events about deadly gas planned.
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A Jan. 23 rally by Cancer Survivors Against Radon (CanSar) is one of several Utah events focusing on deadly radon.

On Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared January Radon Action Month. He also presented awards to state poster-contest winners Tucker Nixon, of American Fork Junior High, Eric Anderson, of Summit Academy in Draper, and Skylee Anderson, of Meadow Elementary in Lehi.

Herbert also has challenged state employees to test their homes for deadly gas, which is odorless and colorless.

Meanwhile, learning opportunities are also planned. There will be continuing education programs for real estate professionals and homebuilders. Plus, a radon symposium will take place at LDS Hospital, 2 p.m. Jan. 28.

Besides smoking, radon is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, the deadliest cancer.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released from rock, soil and water that is blamed for causing the deaths of more than 21,000 deaths each year.

"Since approximately one-third of the homes tested in Utah have elevated levels of radon gas, I strongly encourage all Utah residents to test for radon," said Christine Keyser, who coordinates the state's outreach program. "Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk."

If radon is found to be high, there are ways to reduce it to safe levels.

Radon test kits are available at any hardware retail store or $7 kits may be ordered on the state Radiation Control Division's website at www.radon.utah.gov or by calling 800-324-5928. Also at the state's radon Web page, more information can be found about this month's events.


Twitter: @judyfutah