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Winter the best time to test homes for cancer-causing gas

Posted 2/3/2015

Susan Howe, radon program director, and Jamie Roice-Gomes, radon education coordinator with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, provide free radon test kits at health fairs.

Susan Howe, radon program director, and Jamie Roice-Gomes, radon education coordinator with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, provide free radon test kits at health fairs.

Free radon test kits available at Cooperative Extension statewide through Feb. 28

Winter may be the best time to kick back at home and catch up on some of those television series or movies, but it is also a peak time for radon accumulation in the home. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that comes from the ground into a home. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering free, easy-to-use kits to test homes for radon at their offices and other partners’ offices throughout the state through the end of February.

"Winter is the best time to test for radon, when windows and doors are likely to be closed," said Susan Howe, program director for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Nevada Radon Education Program. "Radon levels will generally be at their highest level due to a variety of factors."

Nevadans are encouraged to take advantage of this free offer to test their homes for radon, as after February, kits will still be available, but for a fee.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-caused lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, falls in the home, drowning or house fires. Radon-caused lung cancer is preventable. A simple three-day test can determine if a house has a radon problem.

In Nevada, one in four homes tested found radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses as much risk of developing lung cancer as smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day. If radon problems are found, they can be fixed.

Cooperative Extension, the EPA and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health urge all Nevadans to get their homes tested for radon. For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website at www.RadonNV.com, or call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610).

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and is funded by the EPA and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. The program has been working to raise awareness of the dangers of radon in the home since 2007. Since 2008, the program has distributed radon test kits and more than 18,000 homes have been tested in Nevada.

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