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January is National Radon Action Month - If you haven’t tested for radon, now is the time

Posted 1/5/2012

Results show 1 in 4 Nevada homes have elevated levels

Most people associate lung cancer with smoking, but nonsmokers can get lung cancer from a dangerous gas in their home! Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas present in many homes and buildings, yet few people know about the health risk or have tested their homes for it. Because radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless, the only way to know if it is in a home or building is to conduct a simple test.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Every year, radon-induced lung cancer kills more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, falls in the home, drowning or home fires. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s (UNCE) Radon Education Program and the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) urge all Nevadans to get their homes tested for radon. In efforts to educate people about indoor radon exposure, the EPA has proclaimed January as National Radon Action Month and state radon programs are making efforts to make this health risk known and to encourage people to take action by having their homes tested. Winter is an ideal time to test a home for radon. When a home is closed up during cooler weather months, radon concentrations typically increase.

In recognition of National Radon Action Month, UNCE is offering program presentations and free radon test kits throughout the month of January.

Scheduled presentations in these counties are:

Humboldt:

  • Jan. 9, 7 pm - Humboldt County UNCE, 1085 Fairgrounds Rd., Winnemucca

Lander:

  • Jan. 10, 12:30 and 6 pm - Lander County UNCE, 815 N. 2nd St., Battle Mtn.; Austin High School, 200 Hwy. 305 N

Elko:

  • Jan. 11, 12:30 pm - Elko County Library, 720 Court St.

White Pine:

  • Jan. 12, 12:30 pm - White Pine Senior Center, 1000 Campton St.; 6 pm, White Pine Library, 950 Campton St.

Carson:

  • Jan. 17, 7 pm - Carson Senior Center, 911 Beverly Dr.

Lyon:

  • Jan. 24, 5:30 pm - Lyon County Library, 20 Nevin Way, Yerington

Churchill:

  • Jan. 26, 6:30 pm - Churchill County Fairground, Multi-Purpose Room, 225 Sheckler Rd., Fallon

Pershing:

  • Jan. 30, 6 pm - Pershing Community Center, 820 Sixth St., Lovelock

Douglas:

  • Jan. 12, 6:30 pm - Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline
  • Jan. 19, 6:30 pm - Carson Valley Improvement Club, 1604 Esmeralda Ave., Minden

Clark:

  • Jan. 14, 12:30 pm - Clark County Library, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., 1401 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas
  • Jan. 28, 11 am - Windmill Library, 11:00 a.m. to noon, 7060 Windmill Lane, Las Vegas

Washoe:

  • Jan. 22, 11 am - Downtown Reno Library, 301 S. Center St.
  • Jan. 10, 6:30 pm - Spanish Springs Library, 7100a Pyramid Lake Hwy., Sparks
  • Jan. 24, 5:30 pm - North Valleys Library, 1075 N. Hills Blvd., Reno
  • Jan. 18, 6:30 pm - Incline Village Library, 845 Alder Ave., Incline Village
  • Jan. 25, 6 pm - South Valleys Library, 15650A Wedge Parkway, Reno

You can’t predict which homes will have high radon levels, as two neighboring homes can have very different radon levels. Radon can enter any home — old or new, well-sealed or drafty. Even homes with basements, slab on grade, crawl spaces or no visible foundation cracks are susceptible. Variables that determine radon levels include how the home was constructed, lifestyle factors and the strength of the radon source beneath the house. The only way to know a building’s radon levels is to test. A simple three-day test can determine whether a home has elevated levels of radon. If high levels of radon are found, there is a way to reduce or mitigate radon levels.

For more information or to find out where to get a test kit, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website, www.RadonNV.com, or call the Radon Hotline, 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610).

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