Spanish Moss Cave
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RADON LEVELS

HYPOTHESIS: Michael LeavittAfter testing hundreds of homes in Utah County for radon, it was my best guess that Spanish Moss Cave was going to have elevated radon levels. Why? Radon is a biproduct of uranium, and uranium is prevalent in granite. Our local mountains are loaded with granite and this seems to be the source of elevated radon levels in homes along our mountain bench areas.

TEST: We left a Sun Nuclear 1028 Continuous Radon Monitor inside the cave and left it to operate on 9 volt battery power. The unit took hourly readings for 100 straight hours. The unit was retrieved and the data uploaded into the computer.

RESULTS: You must understand that the EPA established the acceptable risk levels at 4 pCi/l.  In residential and commercial structures it is common to install mitigation systems with the goal of lowering elevated levels to below the 4 pCi/l levels. Keep the 4 pCi/l level in mid as you evaluate the following readings from Spanish Moss Cave.

RADON TEST RESULTS CHART
Radon Test Results
AFTERTHOUGHTS

I was shocked at the results. 83.2 pCi/l is very high and with radon being the second leaving cause of lung cancer in the U.S., I am left unsure as what to think. The test results has raised other questions for me...

  • 1) What is the result in other local caves?
  • 2) How harmful is it to be in an elevated radon environment of 2 to 6 hours at a time?
  • 3) Is it also elevated in the Timpanogos Cave? If so, then what about the conditions for the long term emplyees that spend dozens of hours a week inside?
  • 4) Should we take on the project of testing the local caves?
  • 5) Who would be willing to finance this type of testing process?
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

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