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Douglas County offering public radon meetings

Posted 12/17/2008

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is conducting two free public meetings in Douglas County: Jan. 28, from 7-8 p.m., at the Sheridan Volunteer Fire Department, 980 Sheridan Lane, in Gardnerville, and Jan. 29, from 7- 8 p.m., at Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., in Stateline.

Elevated radon levels have been found in 59 percent of the homes tested in Stateline, Glenbrook and Zephyr Cove, and 35 percent of the homes tested in Gardnerville and Minden. Nearby communities may have similar radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless and tasteless gas that is dispersed in outdoor air but can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.

"It is a serious health risk that is preventable and fixable," said UNCE Extension Educator Steve Lewis. "People are starting to take radon more seriously and becoming more aware of the health effects and the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes."

Lewis urged area residents to take steps in January — National Radon Action Month — by testing their homes for radon. Simple and free radon test kits can be obtained at both public meetings.

"Test kits purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores can cost $20 or more, but our program is offering free test kits as a service to Nevada residents," Lewis said.

For more information on radon, radon testing and mitigation, and building new homes with radon-resistant features, call UNCE Incline Village at 775-832-4150 or visit UNCE’s Radon Education Program Web site or visit EPA’s National Radon Action Month Web site.

The event is sponsored by UNCE’s Radon Education Program, which is working with the Nevada State Health Division and the EPA in a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and families.

UNCE encourages people with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, contact UNCE’s Lena Johnstone at 775-782-9960 in advance of your participation or visit.

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