Surviving Radon: Jan Poulsen’s Story

By DEQ Communications Office

In this week’s video post, Jan Poulsen, a nonsmoker, tells her story of surviving stage 3A cancer caused by exposure to high levels of radon in her home.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas caused by the decomposition of uranium-bearing granite in our soil. It becomes dangerous when it is trapped in our airtight homes. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and responsible for 15,000 to 22,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

It is estimated that one in three homes in Utah has elevated levels of radon.

Testing your home is the only way to know for sure if radon is posing a risk to you and your family. Test kits are available for less than $10 at radon.utah.gov. If radon in your home is at an unhealthy level, then a mitigations system is required to vent the gas out of your home. Installing a mitigation system in your home typically costs about $1500 or less. A list of certified mitigators can be found at radon.utah.gov.