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Local radon cases prompt class on gas’ dangers

 

AMANDA SEBASTIANO

Staff Writer

 

It doesn’t matter if the home is new or old, it’s what’s underneath in the soil that’s the trouble; most of us can’t tell those things, County Cooperative Extension Agent Leigh Guth explained to the Times-News last week.

Guth has been working with the N.C. Radon Center and will be hosting an information session about radon, how to detect it and the dangers of the radioactive gas next week.

This class has been offered in previous years, but after hearing of two cases in the last month, the extension agent decided it was time to offer more education to the community.

Radon is an odorless gas that is cited by the Environmental Protection Agency as the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers – responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths a year.

Though the gas is a natural component of the atmosphere that is found everywhere, problems begin to surface when it becomes trapped in an enclosed space.

Mountainous areas are typically common grounds for radon in homes while low-lying lands are less likely, Guth said, putting Lincoln County in the midway zone.

She hopes to bring awareness to an issue that is often overlooked until brought to light by those that know their homes better than they do – the real estate agents.

Local Realtor Janet Cox will speak about how the gas affects home sales. The buyer and seller of the home will receive the test results, which is often the first time families are made aware of the problem.

Coupons for free radon test kits will be given at the meeting, and a step-by-step guide will show patrons how to use the kits and start fixing the problem if detected.

The class will be held 7 to 8:30 p.m., June 25, at the Citizen’s Center.

Those interested in turning on their radon radar must pre-register for the course by June 22 by calling (704) 736-8461, or by emailing leigh_guth@ncsu.edu.

“It’s one of those things you can take action on, but you have to know you have a problem first,” Guth said.

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