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Extension urges residents to test for radon

Nevadans are encouraged to take advantage of free radon test kits from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to test their homes for the dangerous gas.

The kits are available through Feb. 28 at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices and partner offices statewide. The tests are easy to conduct.

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the ground. It accumulates in homes and can cause lung cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from radon-induced lung cancer, killing more people than secondhand smoke, drunken driving, falls in the home, drowning or house fires. This type of lung cancer is preventable, and the only way to know if a home has elevated levels is to test it.

The Cooperative Extension has been working to raise awareness of the dangers of radon in the home since 2007. It has distributed radon test kits since 2008. Since that time, more than 16,000 homes have been tested in Nevada, and results indicate that one in four found potentially hazardous radon levels.

Once detected, there are fairly easy, inexpensive ways to reduce the radon exposure to safe levels.

January also is National Radon Action Month, and to better help communities comprehend the dangers of radon, the Nevada Radon Education Program will offer presentations at various locations. Test kits will be available at the presentations.

The presentation for Las Vegas is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road.

Cooperative Extension, the EPA and the Nevada Public and Behavioral Health Division urge all Nevadans to get their homes tested for radon.

For more information, visit the Nevada Radon Education Program website at www.radonnv.com, call the Radon Hotline at 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610), or contact Nevada Radon Education Program Director Susan Howe at robertss@unce.unr.edu or at 775-336-0248.

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