Experts meet in Moab for Region 8 Radon Conference
By Eleanor Divver
Radon experts from the west and southwest region of the U.S. traveled to Moab in April to take part in the Region 8 Radon Conference. Moab was a uranium mining homestead for many and much of the area’s minerals have assisted with nuclear weaponry and energy for our country.
Initially, uranium was discarded as a waste product during the mining of vanadium. When World War II began, uranium became a key element in nuclear weaponry. The need for uranium continued throughout World War II and was used to create energy in nuclear power plants.
On Wednesday, April 6, conference attendees traveled to the Yellow Cat area near Moab. We discovered mine holes dug to recover uranium, as well as adits and the following of mine veins. Of course, we had geiger counters and detected high levels of uranium where the mining took place. It was fascinating to see where miners would stake a claim on an area, dig, dynamite and blast at will, as long as the area looked ripe for uranium.
The conference continued the following day where attendees shared their research on the direct link between radon and lung cancer, testing for radon in homes and schools, hard to mitigate homes, and new radon legislation.
One in three Utah homes tested have radon levels that exceed what is considered safe for humans. Visit radon.utah.gov for more information and to purchase a test kit.