Published on 01/08/19

UGA Extension hires new radon educator

By Sage Barnard

Derek Cooper has always had a passion for helping people live healthier lives.

This January, the newly hired University of Georgia Cooperative Extension radon educator is putting his zeal into action by helping Georgians test their homes for radon during National Radon Action Month.

The second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, radon gas is essentially broken-down uranium that can seep into homes through the foundation or well water. About 6.7 percent of homes across the country have high levels of radon, but according to testing through the Georgia Radon Education Program, the percentage of homes with high levels of radon is as high as 46.5 percent in some Georgia counties.

Cooper’s goal is to increase the number of Georgians who test their homes for radon across the state.

“I am excited to be able to be proactive about protecting human health,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to talk to people and potentially have a positive impact on their lives.”

Helping people find the information they need to protect their families and the environment is one reason Cooper chose to work with UGA Extension. He wants everyone in the state to know about radon-education resources available through UGA Extension and its low-cost radon testing service.

To learn more about household radon and to order a $13 radon test, visit or call your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ask-UGA1. During January, Georgians can get a discount of $3 off the regularly $13-priced test kit when they enter the code NRAM2019.

Sage Barnard is a student writer for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension.

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