January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering free short-term radon test kits to Nevadans through Feb. 28. Radon test kits are available at Extension offices and partnering locations 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. In Douglas County, one in three homes tested have elevated levels, but in some areas, it is a higher percentage. According to experts, living in a home with radon concentrations at the action level poses a similar 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.
Free test kits are available through Feb. 28 at the following Douglas County locations. For other locations, visit www.RadonNV.com or call 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610). Please call ahead to make an appointment.
- Extension in Douglas County, 1325 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville 775-782-9960
- Genoa Town Office, 2289 Main St., Genoa, 775-782-8696.
- Indian Hills General Improvement District, 3394 James Lee Park Road, #A, Carson City, 775-267-2805.