January is National Radon Action Month
People often dismiss what they cannot see or do not understand… “Oh, I‘ll think about that another day.” Well, January is National Radon Action Month for a reason. Now is the time to understand radon.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is emitted from minerals in the earth. Radon is both invisible and odorless. Outdoors, radon dissipates into the air leading to no known health risks. However, when radon gas accumulates inside a building or home, it is known to cause lung cancer. Radon can enter a home through the ground from cracks in the foundation or piping. Throughout the year, homeowners should test for radon if there has been seismic activity or remodeling which may have introduced unknown cracks in the foundation or piping.
January is National Radon Action Month since it is the optimal month to test for levels of radon in your home. Indoor radon levels are normally at the highest in the colder months because homes are tightly sealed to keep warm and minimize energy costs. Also, the pressure within homes during the winter months increases due to the cold air in the home. Thus, more air is being pulled inside the home from the ground.
A homeowner can pick up tests kits or hire a company to test for radon levels.
To obtain a test kit:
- Visit http://extension.unr.edu/radon or call the University of Nevada, Reno – Extension at (775) 336- 0252.
- Find a University of Nevada, Reno – Extension or partner office to pick up a kit.
- Order a kit online or by mail.
The EPA recommends mitigation if the radon levels are at or above the action level of 4 pCi/l. Furthermore, the EPA recommends repeat testing every 2 years even if your home is below 4 pCi/l.
Our local source in northern Nevada for information about radon is the Nevada Radon Education Program at UNR – Extension (http://extension.unr.edu/radon).
A national resource for information is the Environmental Protection Agency (https://www.epa.gov/radon).
A third resource is the White Ribbon Project https://www.thewhiteribbonproject.org/ ) which raises ‘awareness about lung cancer by changing public perception of the disease – anyone with lungs can get the disease.’
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