January is National Radon Action Month
Kansas is fortunate to have the scenic countryside, a relatively low cost of living, and produces a valuable part of our food supply.
On the down side, there’s a decent chance your home will test positive for radon, an odorless, colorless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
“One in four homes in Kansas will test at or above the EPA’s radon action level,” said Bruce Snead, director of the Kansas Radon Program at Kansas State University.
He referred to the Environmental Protection Agency’s radon action level of 4.0 picocuries of radon per liter of indoor air.
To help raise awareness and encourage people to have their homes tested, the EPA has deemed January National Radon Action Month.
Radon occurs naturally in the soil. Its levels are low outdoors, because its effects are diluted, but indoor levels can build and lead to lung cancer. And Kansas soils generate significant amounts of radon leading to the potential for homes to have elevated concentrations of this naturally-occurring class A carcinogen.
Snead encourages all homeowners to test for radon. Test kits can be obtained at the Brown County Extension Office for a reduced fee, which includes a lab analysis and return postage. Kits can also be ordered online at www.sosradon.org at retail price.
More than 112,000 radon measurements have been reported in Kansas, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The agency indicates that the statewide average indoor radon level in Kansas is 4.9 picocuries of radon per liter (pCi/L), which is above the EPA threshold of 4.0.
For homeowners who test and find elevated radon levels in their homes, the most common technique to reduce it is called Active Soil Depressurization. An ASD mitigation system is a permanently-installed pipe-and-fan system that places a direct constant vacuum on the soil beneath the home’s foundation, so the amount of radon that can penetrate into the living space is reduced.
More information about radon, testing and mitigation is available at www.kansasradonprogram.org/home or by calling the Kansas Radon Hotline at 1-800-693-5343.
K-State Soybean Production Schools
A series of six K-State Soybean Production Schools will be offered in mid- to late January 2020 to provide in-depth training for soybean producers and key stakeholders. The schools are sponsored by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The schools are located in areas across Kansas with significant soybean acreage. Having several locations spread across the main soybean-growing regions will allow for targeted programs that are geared toward the varied production topics specific to each region.
The half-day schools will cover issues facing soybean producers in eastern and central Kansas. Each school will feature the following topics: weed control, crop production, soil fertility and nutrient management, insect control, disease management and market outlook.
While three classes have already concluded, the locations and dates for the next three schools are:
• Emporia – 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21; contact Brian Rees at [email protected];
• Atchison – 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22; contact Ray Ladd at [email protected], RSVP by Jan. 17;
• Marysville – 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22; contact Anastasia Johnson at [email protected], RSVP by Jan. 17.
Registration for each school starts 30 minutes prior to each program.
A meal will be provided, courtesy of KSC. There is no cost to attend, but participants are asked to pre-register by the RSVP date listed above for their chosen location. Online registration is available at K-State Soybean Schools at http://bit.ly/KSUSoybean or by emailing or calling the nearest local K-State Research and Extension office for the location participants plan to attend.
For more information, contact Kathy Gehl, extension agronomy program coordinator, at [email protected] or 785-532-3354; or Ignacio Ciampitti, K-State crop production and cropping systems specialist, at [email protected] or 785-532-6940.