Free radon test kits available
Free short-term radon test kits are available to Douglas County residents year round.
Douglas County is one of the most tested counties in Nevada, according to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program. So far, 3,757 tests have been taken.
Almost 30 percent of Douglas homes tested above the recommended levels for radon and more than half of homes in Lake Tahoe tested positive.
Free tests are available at the Douglas County Cooperative Extension, 1325 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville and for Nevada residents only at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline.
Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It comes from the ground and can accumulate in homes, increasing 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. The first step is a simple three-day test to 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.
A list of where free kits can be obtained throughout the state can be found at http://bit.ly/FreeKitLocations.
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.