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Learn about the Radon Health Risk in Lyon County

Posted 12/11/2009

January is National Radon Action Month and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering several radon presentation meetings in Lyon County, beginning with a Jan. 4 meeting at the Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St., Yerington, at 5:30 p.m. Two other meetings will be held Jan. 20 at 11:45 a.m., as a Brown Bag Luncheon at the Lyon County Library, 20 Nevin Way, in Yerington, and at 5:30 p.m., at the Smith Valley Library, 22 Day Lane, in Smith. Included in the presentation will be information about radon, the health risk associated with radon, and results of area testing.

Elevated radon levels have been found in 56 percent of the homes tested in Yerington, 40 percent in Wellington, 9.8 percent in Dayton, 18 percent in Fernley, and 8 percent in Silver Springs. The county has an overall radon potential of 30 percent.

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 Radon Education Program Director, Susan Howe. “People need to take radon more seriously and be aware of the health effects and the possibility that there might be a dangerous gas in their homes.”

Howe urged area residents to take steps during National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for radon. Simple and free radon test kits can be obtained at the 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 at presentations during National Radon Action Month,” Howe said. Residents can also purchase radon test kits for $5 throughout the year at the Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St., in Yerington.

For more information on radon, radon testing and mitigation, and building new homes with radon-resistant features, call the Nevada Radon Hot Line at 1-888-RADON10, visit UNCE’s Radon Education Program Web site at or visit EPA’s National Radon Action Month Web site at

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 Marcia Moffitt at 775-463-6541 in advance of your participation or visit.

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