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Contact: Lori Buttars
Public Information Officer
(801) 399-7114

Press Release
January 30, 2008

Radon-Test Kits Available to Weber and Morgan Residents

Dangerous gas can be a problem in mountainous areas, winter best time to check

(Ogden, UT) The Weber-Morgan Health Department has 40 free radon-test kits to help residents test the levels of the naturally occurring radioactive gas in their homes.

The program is sponsored by the Utah Safety Council and in conjunction with National Radon Safety Month. Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas that is the byproduct of the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It is considered to be the second-leading cause of lung cancer in America when inhaled at high levels overtime.

“The biggest danger in our area is on the benches and in the canyons because the gas is more concentrated there and it can seep into people’s homes through the foundation,” says Frank Carlsen, an environmental health scientist with the Weber-Morgan Health Department. “It’s easiest to check for high levels in the wintertime because people have their windows and doors closed.”

The kits contain charcoal, which absorbs the gas over a 3-to-5 day period. The kits are then mailed into a laboratory for further testing. The Environmental Protection Agency considers a reading higher than 2.0 picocuries a problem.

“The good news is that is a relatively easy problem to fix by properly venting your homes,” Carlsen says.

Homeowners will need to show proof of residence in Weber or Morgan counties to qualify for the free kits. Home testing kits can also be purchased at the Utah Safety Council and most building supply stores. See www.epa.gov/radon for more information.

There are only 40 kits at the Weber-Morgan Health Department, 477 23rd Street in downtown Ogden. Residents can call 801-399-7160 to check the availability.