Residents of El Dorado County can receive a free radon test kit until supplies run out.
The Tahoe Division of the El Dorado County Environmental Management Department has several hundred test kits available, said Virginia Huber, Tahoe Division Manager.
The kits can be picked up from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Suite 303.
“We recommend everyone in the South Lake Tahoe area test their home for radon,” Huber said.
Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive case that arises from the decay of naturally occurring uranium and thorium in soil. The gas is linked to 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year, second only to cigarette smoking, according to the EPA.
A report from the California Geological Survey in June 2009 estimated that 23,400 people in the Lake Tahoe area live in buildings where radon is likely to equal or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter.
The report was based on geological data, as well as results from a survey of 443 homes in South Lake Tahoe between 2006 and 2007.
According to the survey, about 40 percent of homes in the Lake Tahoe area are at or above the EPA’s recommended action level, while approximately 55 percent of homes in the El Dorado County portion of the basin who participated in the survey are at or above the recommended action level.
Winter is a good time to test a home for radon, Huber said.
“It’s the best time to test because your house is closed up,” she said.
For more information call (530) 573-3450.