Learn how to reduce radon health risk | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Learn how to reduce radon health risk

Special to the Tribune

About 39 percent of homes tested in Douglas County found radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. For a radon potential map specific to each Nevada county, go to http://bit.ly/NVRadonResults.

As part of National Radon Action Month, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Radon Education Program is offering free radon test kits and educational presentations at various locations across the state, including at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), located at128 Market St., Stateline, on Monday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m.

Free test kits will be available for Nevada residents at the presentation. Test kits can also be purchased at low-cost for out-of-state residents.

For those who cannot attend a presentation, free radon test kits are also available at Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide through Feb. 28. Locally, TRPA offers the free kits for Nevadans. For other kit locations, visit http://bit.ly/FreeKitLocations.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It comes from the ground and can accumulate in homes, raising the risk of lung cancer. The U.S. 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.

In Nevada, one in four homes tested show radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. In Stateline, the potential is higher, as 70 percent of the homes tested had an elevated radon 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 about half a pack of cigarettes a day.

The risk of radon-caused lung cancer can be reduced. 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. If radon problems are found, they can be fixed.

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

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Since the program began in 2007, more than 23,000 homes have been tested in Nevada.

This article was provided by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. For more information on its programs, visit http://www.unce.unr.edu.

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