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

Lyon County Cooperative Extension office will have free radon test kits available starting December 1st. You don’t travel to Yerington very often? Joy Paterson, Susan Howe and Jamie Roice will be distributing test kits county wide on January 14th at the following locations:


Dayton Valley Branch Library 9:00am to 10:00am

321 Old Dayton Valley Rd.

Dayton, NV   89403


Fernley Branch Library 10:45am to 11:45 am

575 Sliver Lace Blvd.

Fernley, NV   89408


Silver Springs  at the Park and Ride at the intersection of HWY50 and ALT95 12:15pm to 1:15pm


Smith Valley Library 3:00pm to 4:00pm

22 Day Lane

Smith, NV   89430


Yerington Central Branch Library 5:00pm to 6:00pm

20 Nevin Way

Yerington, NV   89447


Cannot make those times? Want us to come give away Radon test kits at your meeting or location? Email Joy Paterson to see if a kit drop off or if someone from the Radon group can come to your meeting or location.

By Susan Howe

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the decay of uranium. It can accumulate in homes and where it can cause lung cancer. This type of lung cancer risk is preventable, and the only way to know if a home has elevated concentrations is to test for it.

The Environmental ProteMicrosoft PowerPoint - Radon Deaths Graph - to modify.pptxction Agency (EPA) has an action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) of air. If a home is found to have radon concentrations at or above 4 pCi/l, action should be taken to reduce radon levels, reducing the risk of lung cancer. Living in a home with a yearly average of 4 pCi/l poses a similar risk of developing lung cancer as smoking about half a pack of cigarettes a day. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States, killing more people than second-hand smoke, drunken driving, drowning or home fires.



In Lyon County, 29% of homes tested have elevated radon concentrations. The highest concentration found in Lyon County is 135 pCi/l (in Yerington), which is second to the highest in the state, 195 pCi/l (found in Washoe County).

From Dec. 1 to Feb. 29, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers free radon test kits (normally $7 each) at the Lyon County Cooperative Extension office, 504 S. Main Street and at other locations throughout the state. Educational presentation(s) will be be held. If your community group is interested in hosting a presentation or if your group is having a function where we could distribute free test kits, email Joy Paterson.

nwma_logo_colorPlan to attend the next Nevada Weed Management Association (NWMA) conference. NWMA is hosting its 2015 conference, “Catalyst for Change: Opening the Conversation for Changing Nevada’s Noxious Weed Program”, in conjunction with a Medusahead Symposium, October 26-29, at the Nugget Hotel & Casino in Sparks, Nevada. More information regarding the symposium and conference can be found at NWMA’s website. Come be part of the discussion, learn about noxious weeds, weed management and engage in Nevada weed management issues. Presenters for these sessions have been invited from throughout Nevada, as well as several neighboring states. Breakout session that qualify will allow participants to earn continuing education units (CEUs) required for the renewal of applicator licenses, including a training on law.


EDDmapS map of Canada Thistle

Joy Paterson, Lyon County Extension Educator and UNCEIPM team member, and Jamie Abbott, Noxious Weed Coordinator for Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) will be teaching a half-day workshop on EDDmapS including the website, data upload including how to upload data from other mapping software, map creation, smart-phone or tablet applications and other user features of the software. Tablets will be available to use during instruction, but participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops, tablets and smartphones. EDDmapS should be downloaded prior to the course. The course will include time for Joy or Jamie to assist with questions about your data or how to use the application or computer interface. Reporting noxious weed locations is important for use in demonstrating the extent of noxious weed issues in Nevada and using EDDmapS allows information to be shared nationwide.

Hope to see you there!


By Kate Schnoor

IMG_3633 (1280x853)IMG_3624 (1280x853)The 2015 Lyon County Fair & Rodeo in conjunction with the Silver State Youth Livestock Show (SSYLS) came to a conclusion after a successful week. The Lyon County Fair is held the third weekend in August every year in Yerington, NV. The fair hosts a variety of events for the whole family, including; mutton busting, demolition derby, a pro rodeo, tractor pulls and of course the youth livestock show. Approximately100 4-H, FFA and Grange members from around northern Nevada attended this year’s show and sale. Exhibitors arrived Friday with their breeding and market animals, the species comprised of; chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. Exhibitors spent Saturday and Sunday showing their animals to the species specific judges. Market animals were judged on look, confirmation, market quality, potential meat quality, care and cleanliness. Breeding animals were judged on potential progeny, confirmation, breed specifics, gender specifics, and cleanliness. Youth also demonstrated their handling skills, care and knowledge in showmanship.
IMG_3632 (1280x853)The Silver State Livestock Sale takes place on Sunday following the breeding sheep show. Exhibitors lined up with their animals one last time to present them to hundreds of potential buyers. I can still remember this point of a show (from 6+ years ago now) and I remember how nervous, sad, happy and excited I was. The sale not only concluded the Silver State Youth Livestock Show, but also summer vacation.
I would like to thank all of our youth exhibitors, Advisors, Leaders, parents, sponsors and Fair Board Members. It was a pleasure to meet and work with all of you!

To find out more about 4-H programs in Lyon County:



Or contact us directly at: 504 South Main St. Yerington, NV 89447, 775-463-6541