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Radon Fairy Spreads Important Message

Radon Fairy Spreads Important Message

The Nevada Radon Education Program, under the direction of Susan H. Howe, produces a wide array of outreach items on a yearly basis to spread the radon message. Examples of some of these efforts include door tags, engaging radon Public Service Announcements (PSAs), news articles, educational programs, street banners and massive amounts of educational displays and posters.

This year in particular, a different sort of outreach effort took place at the Nevada Day event. Radon activist Denise Uber (pictured) dressed up as the “Radon Fairy” to educate people about the harmful effects of radon. Uber is a strong advocate for radon awareness. She previously had her home mitigated, appeared in local newspapers and is a continued supporter of the Nevada Radon Education Program.

Radon Regulation Varies Widely from State to State

Californians are required to disclose the radon level in their home, if known, before transferring it to a new owner.

Nevadans are not.

In both states, renters are particularly vulnerable.

“There are no regulations to protect renters from radon in Nevada,” said Susan Howe, radon education program director for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. “There are no regulations dealing with radon in Nevada, period. There are no laws to protect people when they buy or build homes.”

More people die each year from radon exposure than from drunk driving accidents, falls in the home, drownings and home fires, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The known carcinogen — undetectable by sight, smell or taste — is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer for smokers. Radon exposure causes an estimated 21,000 deaths per year in the United States.

What Can I Do About High Levels of Radon in My Home?

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) – Radon gas is a silent killer that could be seeping into your home undetected. So when a local woman emailed Action News about the high levels of radon in her home, we set out to investigate the situation.

"4.0 and under is safe levels. Mine is 5.7."

Sandra Potop is living in fear after a household test revealed that she has high levels of radon gases in her Henderson home.

"I'm just renting so I don't know what to do about it."

And Sandra isn't alone.

"In the state of Nevada, one out of four homes has tested with elevated levels of radon," says Laura Au-Yeung, Radon Program Coordinator.

Radon specialists say elevated levels are anything over a 4.0 rating in a home radon test kit.

"The last I heard, 21,000 deaths a year results directly from exposure to radon gas in the home," Au-Yeung explains.

"Radon is a class-A carcinogen that, in fact, contributes to the risk of lung cancer," adds Eric Matus, radon physicist.

Street Banner Reminds Many to Test for Radon

Street Banner Reminds Many to Test for Radon

Each year, the Nevada Radon Education Program tries new radon outreach ideas for National Radon Action Month. Its most successful idea this year was the creation and use of a 40-foot street banner in two different locations during January. The banner was hung over a major highway thoroughfare in Gardnerville (Douglas County) during the first two weeks of January and on the main street in Nevada’s capital – Carson City – during the last week of January.

The street banner, which cost the Program an initial expense of $750, will surely pay off as the Program hopes to use the banner for years to come. The 3-foot by 40-foot vinyl banner was created with specifications determined by the two cities' governing entities.

Test to Find Out Radon Levels, Get Lowered by Certified Mitigator

Some areas have higher concentration potential than others, but homes with elevated radon concentrations have been found in every county in Nevada.

Any building with contact to the soil can have a radon problem because radon comes from the decay of uranium, which can be found in rock and soil underneath our homes, offices and schools.

The good news is that radon levels are easy to test for and high levels can be lowered by a certified mitigator.

Results collected since 1989 show that about one in four Nevada homes have elevated radon levels, yet many homeowners have not tested for radon. This might be because radon is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas and there are no immediate adverse, visible effects.

Radon gas quietly enters homes through cracks in the floor, construction joints and gaps around service pipes.

Welcome to Gardnerville, Test for Radon

Welcome to Gardnerville, Test for Radon

It's an odorless, tasteless gas that rises naturally from the soil and lurks in the quiet corners of many Douglas County homes.

It's also the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 21,000 people die each year from exposure to radon gas in their home.

A meeting for residents to share information about testing for radon and reducing levels that are above the safe minimums will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the CVIC Hall in Minden.

Members of the Cooperative Extension made a presentation to Douglas County commissioners on Monday, where the county declared January Radon Action Month.

Nevada Radon Education Program Director Susan Howe said Lake Tahoe is a hotspot for the gas, but that it has been detected in homes throughout the county.

Radon detection kits are available free from the Cooperative Extension Office in Gardnerville.