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Learn about the radon health risk in White Pine County

Posted 12/19/2008

ELY — University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program and the White Pine County Library is conducting a free public meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 15 at the White Pine County Library, 950 Campton Street in Ely.

Elevated radon levels have been found in 32 percent of the homes tested in White Pine County, and 36 percent of the homes tested in Ely. 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 Dan Nelson. “People are starting to take radon more seriously and are becoming more aware of the health effects and the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes.”

Nelson 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 the public meeting.

“Test kits purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores can cost $20 or more, but the Nevada Radon Education Program is offering free test kits as a service to Nevada residents,” Nelson said.

For more information on radon, radon testing and mitigation, and building new homes with radon-resistant features, call UNCE White Pine County Cooperative Extension at 775-289-4459, 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 and the White Pine County Library 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 the White Pine County Library at 775-289-3737 in advance of your participation or visit.

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