January is National Radon Action Month, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Radon Education Program is offering free radon test kits and educational presentations at various locations across the state. Free test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide from Jan. 1 through Feb 28, and will also be available at the presentations.
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 (EPA) 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. 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.
Scheduled presentations for Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Incline Village, Stateline and Minden are:
- Jan. 7: Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno, at 1 p.m.
- Jan. 11: CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave., Minden, at 6 p.m.
- Jan. 12: Sparks Library, 1125 12th St., Sparks, at 6 p.m.
- Jan. 18: Carson City Senior Center, 901 Beverly Drive, Carson City, at 6:30 p.m.
- Jan. 23: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 128 Market St., Stateline, at 6 p.m.
- Jan. 24: Spanish Springs Library, 7100 Pyramid Way, Sparks, 5:30 p.m.
- Feb. 1: Incline Village GID Public Works, 1220 Sweetwater Road, Incline Village, at 6 p.m.
- Feb. 8: South Valleys Library, 15650A Wedge Parkway, Reno, at 6 p.m.
- Feb. 12: Sierra View Library, 4001 S. Virginia St., Reno, at 2 p.m.
Scheduled presentations for southern Nevada are:
- Feb. 4: Enterprise Library, 25 E. Shelbourne Ave., Las Vegas, at 1 p.m.
- Feb. 5: West Charleston Library, 6301 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, at 10 a.m.
- Feb. 5: Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, at 2 p.m.
- Feb. 6: Centennial Hills Library, 6711 N. Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas, at 6 p.m.
- Feb. 7: Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd., Boulder City, at 6 p.m.
- Feb. 8: Green Valley Library, 280 S. Green Valley Parkway, Henderson, at 6:30 p.m.
For those who cannot attend a presentation, free radon test kits are available through Feb. 28. For more information, call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610) or visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website. Cooperative Extension, the EPA and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health urge all Nevadans to test their homes for radon.
The Nevada Radon Education Program is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and is funded by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Since the program began in 2007, more than 23,000 homes have been tested in Nevada.