Radon presentation 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Minden
January 14, 2012
January is National Radon Action Month and the Nevada Radon Education Program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering a radon program 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave. in Minden. Attendees can learn about the health risks of radon, how to test for it and how to fix radon problems. A certified radon mitigator will be available for questions and answers and will also present a portion of the program on radon mitigation. Free radon test kits will be offered at the meeting.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas present in many homes, schools and buildings, yet few people know about the health risk or 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 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure.
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 Douglas County, 39 percent of the homes tested for radon found radon levels over the EPA Action Level of 4 picoCuries per liter of air. More than 67 percent of Stateline homes tested had elevated radon levels, followed by Zephyr Cove and Glenbrook with 59 percent, and Gardnerville 41 percent. Minden homes had 23 percent with elevated radon levels and Genoa homes 19 percent.
You can’t predict which homes will have high radon levels, as two neighboring homes can have very different radon levels. That is why UNCE, EPA and the Nevada State Health Division urge all Nevadans to get their homes tested for radon. Free radon test kits during the month of January are available at the Douglas County UNCE office, 1329 Waterloo in Gardnerville, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 775-782-9960 for more information.
Radon can enter any home – old or new, well-sealed or drafty. Even homes with basements, slab on grade, crawl spaces or no visible foundation cracks are susceptible. Variables that determine radon levels include how the home was constructed, lifestyle factors and the strength of the radon source beneath the house. The only way to know a building’s radon levels is to test. If high levels of radon are found, there is a way to reduce or mitigate radon levels.
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For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website, http://www.RadonNV.com, or call the Radon Hotline, 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610).