There could be a radioactive gas in your home that causes lung cancer and you wouldn’t even know it’s there. Lung cancer kills more individuals than any other cancer and radon is estimated to cause 21,000 of those deaths each year in the U.S. Radon is a deadly, naturally occurring radioactive gas that is a health issue in Nevada, as well as worldwide. Once diagnosed with lung cancer, there is only a 15 percent five-year survival rate.
Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer for those who do not smoke. Smokers who are exposed to elevated levels of radon have an even greater chance of getting lung cancer. However, radon-caused lung cancer is preventable through testing and mitigation.
Reducing the risk of radon-caused lung cancer can only happen through education, as Nevada lacks any protective statutes or regulations specific to radon. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program educates Nevadans about the radon health risk, how to test for and fix radon problems, and distributes low cost test kits to residents. The simple test can determine if a home has a radon problem, a possible problem or no problem at all. If a radon problem is found, a minor home repair can reduce radon levels and lower the risk of lung cancer from radon.
Cooperative Extension also offers presentations to schools, civic and community groups, homeowner associations, realtors, builders and the general public. They also exhibit at company wellness events, health fairs and home shows. If your group is interested in a presentation, contact the Nevada Radon Education Program at 1-888-RADON10 or myself at 775-463-6541.
From Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers free radon test kits (normally $7 each). In Lyon County, you can get a test kit at the Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St.
To find out more about radon, call the Radon Hotline at 1-888-Radon10 or visit www.RadonNV.com.