Radon road show coming to Douglas in January
The decomposed granite most of Douglas County sits on also brings one of the highest levels of radon in the state.
Of the 3,424 homes tested as of 2015, 1,361 or nearly 40 percent of Douglas homes tested above the limit for radon.
Only Washoe County has tested more homes, with a lower ratio of tests, according to the Nevada Radon Eduction Program operated by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
Radon presentations in Douglas County will get their start in Nevada’s oldest town 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Genoa Town Hall.
Presentations are also scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at the CVIC Hall in Minden, where the annual radon poster contest awards will be announced, and on Jan. 22 at the TRPA offices in Stateline.
January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering free short-term radon test kits to Nevadans from Jan. 1 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 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 and 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 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.