Douglas still hot spot for radon |

Douglas still hot spot for radon

Staff Reports

One of the advantages to being the most tested county in Nevada for radon is that sometimes the percentage of homes testing over the limit goes down.

According to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 3,729 Douglas homes have been tested for the gas, up 189 over the past 18 months, but only 33 more are positive.

The county remains a hotspot for the odorless, tasteless gas that is the second greatest cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.

According to the state, 38.7 percent of the homes that have been tested in Douglas County had higher than the recommended amount of radon, down from 39.8 percent.

Those numbers go way up at Lake Tahoe, where almost 71 percent of the tested homes at Stateline revealed above 4 microcuries per liter. Of Zephyr Cove and Glenbrook homes tested, 57 percent have come back above the limit.

Down in Carson Valley, about a quarter of Minden homes tested have come back positive, while Genoa has only 16 percent, according to figures released on Wednesday.

January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering free radon test kits and educational presentations at various locations across the state. Free test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28 and will also be available at the presentations.

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 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. 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.

Scheduled presentations in Douglas County are 6 p.m. Jan. 11 CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave., Minden, and 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline.

For those who cannot attend a presentation, free radon test kits are available through Feb. 28. For more information, call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610) or visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website at 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.