Events to teach radon safety and offer free test kits to Nevadans | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Events to teach radon safety and offer free test kits to Nevadans

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Nevadans are being urged to test their homes for radon, and free test kits will be available statewide starting Jan. 2.

January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Radon Education Program is offering free short-term radon test kits from Jan. 2 through Feb. 28.

Radon test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices and partnering locations, as well as at presentations statewide.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that's 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 estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-caused lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, house fires and unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning combined.

In Nevada, one in four homes tested show radon concentrations at or above the EPA action level. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses a risk of developing lung cancer similar to the risk posed by 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.

Scheduled presentations for Tahoe in Nevada are as follows:

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Jan. 23 — Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline, at 6 p.m.

Feb. 21 — Incline Village GID, Public Works, 1220 Sweetwater Road, Incline Village, at 6 p.m.

For those who can't attend a presentation, free test kits are available through Feb. 28 at the following area locations:

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline.

Incline Village Recreation Center, 980 Incline Way, Incline Village.

Nevadans also can order free test kits at fee4freekit.eventbrite.com, or by mailing in the Radon Test Kit Order form, also available online for printing at http://bit.ly/NRAM18freekit. Ordered test kits will require $4 for shipping.

For 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.

For information about Cooperative Extension, visit http://www.unce.unr.edu.