INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - January is National Radon Action Month, and the Nevada Radon Education Program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will offer a free radon education presentation at the Incline Village Library, 845 Alder Ave., on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m.
Attendees can learn about the radon health risk, how to test for it and how to fix radon problems. A certified radon mitigator will also present information on radon mitigation and free radon test kits will be offered.
Additional radon education presentations will also be offered Jan. 26 at the North Valleys Library in Reno at noon and Jan. 30 at the South Valleys Library in Reno at 6 p.m.
Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas present in many homes, schools and buildings, yet few people know of the health risk nor have tested for it. Most people associate lung cancer with smoking, but 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure.
The EPA recommends remediation if the home's radon level is at or above 4 picoCuries per liter of air (pCi/l). According to experts, living in a home with an average radon level of 4 pCi/l poses a similar risk of developing lung cancer to smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day.
Radon-induced lung cancer is highly preventable. A simple three-day test can determine if a house has a radon problem and 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 Incline Village, 34 percent of the homes tested found radon levels at or above the EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/l. More than 35 percent of homes in the 89451 zip code area had elevated radon levels, followed by zip code 89450 with 27 percent and 89452 at 25 percent.
One can't predict which homes will have high radon levels, as two neighboring homes can have very different radon levels. Therefore UNCE, EPA and the Nevada State Health Division urge all Nevadans to have their homes tested for radon.
Free radon test kits are available at the Incline Village Recreation Center, 980 Incline Way, now through the end of February, during normal center hours, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website, www.RadonNV.com, or call the Radon Hotline, 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610).
- This article was submitted to the Bonanza by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.