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Learn about the radon health risk in Carson City

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

January is National Radon Action Month and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is offering a radon presentation at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Senior Center, 911 Beverly Dr., Carson City.

Included in the presentation will be information about radon, the health risk associated with radon, and results of area testing. In addition, learn what a certified contractor will do to reduce high radon levels in your home.

Elevated radon levels have been found in 34 percent of the homes tested in Carson City.

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless and tasteless gas that is dispersed in outdoor air but can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.

“It is a serious health risk that is preventable and fixable,” said UNCE Extension Educator JoAnne Skelly. “People need to take radon more seriously and be aware of the health effects and the possibility that there might be a dangerous gas in their homes.”

Skelly urged area residents to take steps during National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for radon. Simple and free radon test kits can be obtained at the public meeting. An online video produced by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (“What you don’t know could hurt you,” (unce.unr.edu/news/article.asp?ID=1436) is available to help explain the testing process.

“Test kits purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores can cost $20 or more, but our program is offering free test kits at the presentations during National Radon Action Month,” Skelly said. Beginning Dec. 9, residents can also receive a free test kit at Carson City Cooperative Extension, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15.

For more information on radon, radon testing and mitigation, and building new homes with radon-resistant features, call the Nevada Radon Hot Line at 1-888-RADON10, visit UNCE’s Radon Education Program Web site at http://www.unce.unr.edu/radon or visit EPA’s National Radon Action Month Web site at http://www.epa.gov/radon/nram.

The event is sponsored by UNCE’s Radon Education Program, which is working with the Nevada State Health Division and the EPA in a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and families.

UNCE encourages people with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, contact UNCE’s Teri Spraggins, 775-887-2252.