Health Care

County is giving away radon test kits

County is giving away radon test kits

Over the course of several years, constant exposure to radon increases a person's risk for lung cancer.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the primary cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers and the secondary cause for smokers.

It is estimated that almost one home in every 15 in the USA has an elevated radon level. The aggregated information from the test results will be used to update statewide Radon Potential Maps, which show the likelihood of radon in a specific region.

It said while outdoor radon poses a relatively low risk to health, it can enter homes from surrounding soil and become a hazard inside.

A natural chemical that emits from rocks and soil, radon levels inside the home tend to increase significantly during the winter months when doors and windows stay shut.

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 February 28.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as safe levels of radon; however, if your home tests above level 4 you should definitely take action to mitigate the problem by contracting with a qualified contractor.

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Residents can also get radon test kits from the New York State Department of Health, for a fee of $11. Minnesota has high radon levels due to its unique geology and cold climate. Radon can not be seen, smelled or tasted, making testing the only way to determine if it is in your home.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers a harmful level of radon gas, known as the indoor radon gas "action limit", to be an indoor radon concentration meeting or exceeding 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). Such systems should be installed by a certified mitigation contractor. As with many home repairs, the cost of radon mitigation varies.

Additional information about National Radon Action Month is available on the EPA National Radon Action Month website.

The good news is test kits are pretty cheap at $10.

Radon test kits are easy to use. Confidential results are available online a few days later, or they can be mailed to the homeowner within approximately two weeks.

Testing should be done in the lowest lived in level of a home.

The Extension Office has partnered with San Juan Basin Public Health to present several community meetings to discuss radon.


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