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Tennessee Radon Program Encourages Testing in Press Release

by Margaret Henderson

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) began National Radon Action Month (NRAM) with a press release January 6, 2017, encouraging testing and mitigation and offering free radon test kits and hosting educational outreach events. http://www.tn.gov/environment/news/47846 Governor Haslam also made a proclamation about NRAM. TDEC staff also have partnered with others to offer education and outreach in local communities.

Because radon has been detected in every county in Tennessee, testing each home is important, the department emphasized according to the TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. TDEC operates a statewide indoor Radon Program to serve and assist the public and provide technical information. http://www.tn.gov/environment/article/sp-rad-what-is-radon#sthash.mvXxbHbE.dpuf

Virginia Blog Announced National Radon Action Month

by Margaret Henderson

The Virginia Department of Health announced National Radon Action Month through its blog post.
http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/blog/2017/01/12/radon-action-month/

It explained the need for testing, what radon is and why it is important and what the unsafe levels are. The post noted that “In Virginia, an estimated 670 people (3.19% of the national average) are believed to die each year from radon-related lung cancer.”

Brief guidance was given on lowering risk by simple measures such as sealing cracks and suggesting if further work is necessary to lower levels, installing fans and piping may be needed. Guidance on testing was provided along with a link to the department’s website:
http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/radiological-health/indoor-radon-program/

Colorado Counties to Be Featured at the Region 8 Radon Conference, April 20 - 21, 2017

by Margaret Henderson

In the upcoming USEPA Region 8 Stakeholders Radon Conference to be held in Westminster, Colorado, Colorado presentations will feature experiences of city and county officials, with opening remarks from Chrystine Kelley, of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Radon Program Manager.

In Colorado, about half the homes have radon levels higher than the USEPA recommended action level of 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L), according to the CDPHE website.

City and county officials from the City of Aspen and Garfield County will give their local perspectives on collaborating to increase the test kit return rates. Jefferson County representatives will discuss their program’s effort with Child Care Centers and Radon Resistant New Construction. Boulder County officials will discuss the “Public Health Regional Roadmap.”

For the agenda and registration information, see:

New Jersey Radon Program Partners with Others for National Radon Action Month

by Margaret Henderson

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and partners focused attention on radon testing and mitigation through National Radon Action Month activities. Partners included Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Regional Chronic Disease/Cancer Coalition of Morris and Somerset counties and Greater Somerset Public Health Partnership. The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders made a proclamation at the Tuesday, January 10, freeholders meeting in a commitment to increase awareness about radon and lung cancer.

Throughout January, information was distributed in the county administration building’s lobby allowing visitors to help themselves to facts about radon. The outreach emphasized the importance of testing so that mitigation efforts can be conducted if there is a problem.

For more information about radon in New Jersey, contact the NJDEP Radon Program.

Utah Announces Radon Poster Contest Winners for 2017

by Margaret Henderson

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has announced the 2017 children’s radon poster contest winners by press release and video. See http://deq.utah.gov/ProgramsServices/programs/radiation/radon/

From more than 500 entries, 5 posters from students (age 9-18) were selected as winners. Prizes awarded were $100 for the school and $100 for the student. Artistic posters depicted information about radon risks and dangers, where radon comes from, and how individuals can test for radon in the home.

In an on-line video, Eleanor Divver, of the DEQ Radon Program, explains the basics of radon and then discusses each poster explaining how it illustrates the messages about radon that will guide the public toward radon awareness and safety.

Florida Health Announces Poster Winners

Reprinted with permission

FLORIDA HEALTH CELEBRATES NATIONAL RADON ACTION MONTH
Announces Winners of 2017 Radon Poster Contest

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida Health is kicking off National Radon Action Month in January by announcing the winners of the 2017 Florida Radon Poster Contest. Florida’s first place winner also placed first in the National Radon Poster Contest. The annual Florida Radon Poster Contest is a great opportunity to engage students and schools in educating their communities about the risks from elevated indoor radon levels.

“Exposure to elevated indoor radon levels can increase your risk of cancer, so it is important to know how to detect this invisible hazard,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. “I am proud of the students who entered this year’s radon poster contest to help raise awareness of radon and I encourage all Floridians to protect their families by testing their home and reducing high radon levels when found.”

Utah’s National Radon Month Featured on Website

by Margaret Henderson

The Utah Department of Environmental Health focused on National Radon Month in special coverage on its website. http://deq.utah.gov/ProgramsServices/programs/radiation/radon/

Two 30-second YouTube videos (one in English and one in Spanish) give a short explanation of the importance of testing for radon. Activities listed on the site include presentations on radon for January and February 2017:

  • Radon Awareness Night was held at South Jordan City Hall, 
January 25th, where twenty 
free radon test kits were given away.
  • Radon Awareness Night at South Salt Lake, 
 February 9th where twenty free radon test kits were to be given away.

The website also explained the focus of the radon program:

  • Radon Resistant Construction
  • Real Estate Disclosure and Testing
  • Local Government Coalitions

Pennsylvania On-line Radio Interview Informs the Public about Radon

by Margaret Henderson

Wtif on-line radio, home for National Public Radio, featured Bob Lewis of the Pennsylvania radon program in a discussion with listeners about radon. The program called “Smart Talk,” hosted by Scott LaMar, is an interactive program presented on a daily basis. It covers health and education, among other relevant topics of public interest.

During the program, as part of National Radon Action Month outreach, Bob Lewis answered call-in and email inquiries in real time. He explained about testing and remediation for radon and talked about the dangers and misunderstandings about radon. Bob is Program Manager, Bureau of Radiation Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Delaware Facebook Presence Promotes Radon as a Healthy Homes Issue

by Margaret Henderson

The Delaware Division of Public Health uses its Facebook site to provide information to the public about radon. See https://www.facebook.com/DEPublicHealth/. The page has 1018 likes.

The posts include graphics, details and links to the department’s site. Radon poster winners from elementary and middle schools are displayed. Other posts advise about how to get radon kits, show graphics on how radon gets into your home, provide news about Radon Action Month in January each year, and direct attention to the department’s healthy home website http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/healthyhomes.html.

Missouri’s Ten Years of Radon Data Is On-line Shown in Interactive and Static Maps

by Margaret Henderson

The Missouri Department of Heath and Senior Services Radon Program has ten years of radon data displayed on their website, showing the results of the Indoor Air Quality Database 2005-2015. The maps may be access through http://ephtn.dhss.mo.gov/EPHTN_Data_Portal/radon/index.php

Interactive maps feature residential and school data. Residential data cover years 2005-2015 and school data cover years 2013 – 2016 (August through May “school year”). The Interactive radon maps allow for a choice of backgrounds (satellite, topography, with or without street names and other choices). Pop-ups give details about the test location and results.