RadonLeaders.org
Skip top navigation

Margaret Henderson's blog

Highlights from the Connecticut Department of Health Radon Program

Contributed by Allison Perry Sullivan

In FY 2017, the Connecticut Department of Health (CTDPH) Radon Program partnered with 22 local health departments across the state. As part of the partnership more than 1800 radon test kits were distributed to state residents. The Radon Program tracked the return rates of the kits and the test results. The overall return rate of radon test kits for all health departments participating in the partnership was 53%. Return rates ranged from 4% to 97% among local health partners. A total of 112 Connecticut homes were found to be at or above the USEPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L.

Alaska Survey of School Environmental Health Includes Radon

by Margaret Henderson

School Environmental Health: An Investment in Our Future, a slide presentation, notes radon as a possible air contaminant in Alaska schools. http://dhss.alaska.gov/akshwi/documents/2017presentations/schoolenvironmentalhealth.pdf It is estimated that 69% of schools in Alaska have at least one inadequate building feature and 80% have at least one unsatisfactory environmental factor.

The slides cover survey results of perceptions of environmental health in Alaska schools, with respondents from 39 communities and 71 schools. The purposes of the survey and followup presentation were to:

* understand perceptions of environmental health in schools;

* identify environmental hazards;

* discuss their importance on student performance; and

* provide educational resources and steps to improve school environments.

Appendix F of the International Residential Code Adopted in Colorado Cities and Counties

The number of cities and counties in Colorado that are requiring passive radon mitigation systems (Appendix F in the local building code) in all new homes continues to grow. Approximately half the homes in Colorado have levels of radon that exceed the USEPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L. Because of the high potential for excessive radon to be present in homes, radon resistant new construction is an important issue. In an effort to assure passive radon mitigation systems are built into new homes, numerous Colorado cities and counties have adopted building code requirements. As of May 25, 2018, cities that have adopted Appendix F total 24. Counties that have adopted Appendix total 13. The following is the listing of cities and counties.

Cities:
• Aspen
• Breckenridge
• Cedaredge
• Crested Butte
• Dillon
• Durango
• Frisco
• Ft Collins
• Golden
• Gunnison
• Lake Lakewood
• LaVeta
• Longmont Mount
• Crested Butte
• Orchard City

Indiana Mapping Illustrates Testing and Mitigation Systems Installed

by Margaret Henderson

In 2014, mapping shows that the State of Indiana is predominately in Zone 1, where radon levels are expected to exceed 4 pCi/L, the recommended USEPA action level. According to testing in 2013, an average of 36% of the homes in Zone 1 counties showed test results exceeding 4 pCi/L. Some counties had percentages as high as 80% (Fayette County).

Testing and mitigation is encouraged by the Indiana State Department of Health. Mapping illustrates the testing and mitigation activities in the state by county.

The total number of radon mitigation systems installed between 2007 and 2014 (mapped as of June 2015) is 12,421. Breakouts by number of systems installed were categorized by county as:
• 1 to 9
• 10 to 25
• 26 to 100
• more than 100

Twenty counties had more than 100 mitigation systems installed during that same period.

Nevada Outreach to Retirement Community and Home Owner Associations

by Margaret Henderson

The Nevada Radon Education Program outreach to residents in retirement communities and to home owner associations (HOAs) resulted in increased awareness and radon testing in several neighborhoods.

An hour-long presentation was given to 170 residents of Sun City Anthem by the Nevada Radon Education Program (NREP) and a certified radon measurement specialist in January 2018. Located in Henderson, Nevada, Sun City Anthem is in the foothills of the Black Mountains.

At the meeting 135 radon test kits were distributed. Residents returned 63 of the test kits as of March 2018. The presentation included explanations about health risks, radon measurements and mitigation practices. Sun City Anthem publicized the event and placed an advertisement in their monthly magazine.

Virginia Department of Health Provides Radon Training for Realtors

by Margaret Henderson

In Virginia, there are 46 high risk, 24 moderate risk and 26 low risk counties for radon exposure. Categories are based on the USEPA Zones:

* Zone 1: Counties with predicted average indoor radon screening levels greater than 4 pCi/L

* Zone 2: Counties with predicted average indoor radon screening levels from 2 to 4 pCi/L

* Zone 3: Counties with predicted average indoor radon screening levels less than 2 pCi/L

The USEPA recommended action level is 4 pCi/L and all counties in Virginia are anticipated to have some radon present.

Michigan’s Webinar: Radon Awareness for Health Care Providers and Their Patients

by Margaret Henderson

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Indoor Radon Program, participated in a recorded webinar: Radon Awareness for Health Care Providers and Their Patients. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH3_8fMGPYs

The 59-minute webinar features two presenters:

* Douglas Arenberg, MD, University of Michigan

* Aaron Berndt, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Utah Test Result Data and Real Estate Instruction Promote Goal of Reducing Radon

by Margaret Henderson

Utah Department of Environmental Quality Indoor Air Program provides information to inform residents and homebuyers and sellers about the presence of radon in Utah and the importance of testing and mitigating elevated radon levels. The Program’s goal is to reduce the level of indoor radon to less than 4 pCi/L.

Kansas Outreach to Homeowners with High Radon but No Mitigation Systems Installed

Contributed by Kim Steves

The Kansas Radon Program has been working closely with the Kansas Environmental Public Health Tracking Program to improve the quality of statewide radon testing and mitigation data in our database and to use this data for the benefit of our citizens and our radon professionals.

Washington Uses Test Data and Geology Mapping to Inform the Public about Radon Potential

by Margaret Henderson

The Washington State Department of Health publishes test results on its Washington Tracking Network, with results updated to 2017, making radon test results from 1989-2017 available. Statewide, in 2017 a total of 2669 test results revealed that 24.8% were above 4 pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level. The Department attributes radon as being the single largest source of radiation for almost everyone in Washington.

In order to promote testing and mitigation, the Washington Tracking Network provides mapping of test results, which includes a geology layer that shows characteristics of the surface geology as they relate to the potential for radon exposure.

* The rank of “high potential” is applied when the geology contains uranium or rocks that contain uranium. In Washington, uranium deposits are present in some parts of the state. Commercial mining also took place, ceased production and entered into reclamation.