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Margaret Henderson's blog

Guidance on Radon and Real Estate in Colorado

In Colorado, about 50% of the homes have high radon levels (in excess of the 4pCi/L action level USEPA recommends). Natural deposits of uranium and radium that are found in Colorado geology are the major source of radon in the state.

In providing guidance on radon in real estate, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Radon Program has updated its “Radon and Real Estate Transactions” brochure, both in English and Spanish. See the attached file. The brochure offers:
• The basics about radon and its health significance;
• Colorado real estate transaction requirements;
• Detailed explanations of testing and mitigation topics; and
• A note about radon in water.

In addition to the brochure, the Radon Program provides information through its website with videos on “Radon and the Real Estate Professional” and “Installing Radon Systems in New Homes.” Other helpful links and contact information are provided also.

For more information, see:

California Releases New Publication and Map on Radon Potential in Western Tulare County

by Margaret Henderson

California Department of Public Health (CDPH), working with the California Geological Survey (CGS), produces Radon Potential Maps of the state. Mapping is designed to provide public information, (although maps may not be used to determine a specific area or house which may have elevated radon the department cautions). State and local governments benefit from the mapping in guiding them to devote resources and activities toward areas with potential problems.

A recently available report and may, the Special Report 238 - Radon Potential in Western Tulare County, California, by By Ronald K. Churchill, Ph.D., is available at http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/minerals/hazardous_minerals/radon

Arizona offers Guidance on Radon in Real Estate Transactions

by Margaret Henderson

The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency offers information about radon in real estate transactions providing guidance and information. Although Arizona law does not require radon testing or that Arizona homeowners reduce health risk from radon, or that radon resistant construction techniques be utilized, the agency advises about the health risks of radon and the ability to control radon exposure as a form of public information.

For home sellers and buyers, the agency provides information such as the geologic potentials for radon and the aspect of ventilation rate and patterns of home use that can affect the radon concentrations in a home. For instance, use of air conditioning in summer months can cause radon levels to be higher at that time than in the months with lower temperatures.

Testing guidance for real estate transactions regarding radon are addressed in a series of FAQ publications for both the seller and buyer, including:

Delaware Website Features Speech Enabled Information and Radon Guidance

by Margaret Henderson

Delaware Health and Social Services, Healthy Homes, Radon Program, has a mission to reduce cancer incidence and mortality rates in Delaware by providing information to make homes as healthy and safe as possible. Through its website, several features and topics of information give listeners and readers opportunity to have their radon questions answered.

The Delaware Healthy Homes website provides speech enabled presentation, allowing the visitor to listen to the written text of the website. http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/hhinsideradon.html

The voice presentation mentions the other links and information on radon including such items as:
• An on-line for to request further information;
• A radon television commercial;
• Radon Rights, Risks and Remedy for the Home Buyer; and
• Radon fact sheet.

Pennsylvania Presents Radon Data by Zip Code Covering 26 Years of Testing

by Margaret Henderson

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Radon Monitoring Section, through a joint state and USEPA grant, conducts public outreach to educate and inform residents about radon in the state. To make data public, the DEP has presented radon test results by zip code, in an on-line search feature http://www.dep.pa.gov/DataandTools/Reports/Pages/Radiation-Protection.aspx

Radon Test Data by Zip Code includes:

  • Zip code
  • Location
  • Number of tests
  • Maximum result in pCi/L
  • Average result in pCi/L (Data not reported when there are fewer that 30 test results.)

New Mexico Public Health Tracking Tool: Radon Outreach

by Margaret Henderson

New Mexico’s Environment Department's Indoor Radon Outreach Program provides general radon information through the Public Health Tracking Tool

The information explains how to get radon test kits, about mitigation and radon resistant new construction, and provides a link to the state’s Indoor Outreach Radon Program.

In New Mexico, eight counties are classified as Zone 1 counties, with radon concentrations expected to exceed 4 pCi/L, the recommended EPA action level (EPA radon map). They are:
• Bernailillo;
• Colfax;
• Mora;
• Ro Arriba;
• San Juan;
• San Miguel;
• Santa Fe; and
• Taos.
In Santa Fe and Taos Counties, 32% of the test results reported levels equal to or exceeding 4 pCi/L. The number of Zone 2 counties (expected levels of 2-4pCi/l) is 17 and no counties are in Zone 3 (less than 2 pCi/L).

West Virginia’s Radon Awareness Coloring Book

by Margaret Henderson

The West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources has published the Radon Awareness Coloring Book, available online at https://www.wvdhhr.org/rtia/pdf/Coloring%20Book.pdf

The 12-page book presents some basic information on radon, explains that it is found in many places worldwide, describes where radon might be present in the home, and explains what can be done about it to correct elevated levels. The book encourages testing for radon and calling the health department for more information. The book concludes with the message: “Test. Fix. Save a Life.”

West Virginia has 20 counties classified as Zone 1, based on the EPA map of radon zones. In these Zone 1 counties, radon concentrations are expected to equal or exceed 4pCi/L, EPA’s recommended action level. Another 27 counties are in Zone 2 (2-4 pCi/L). Only 6 counties are low potential counties (less than 2 pCi/L).

Minnesota Radon Program Offers Guidance on Radon in Schools

by Margaret Henderson

In Minnesota a Radon Testing Plan requires school districts that receive health and safety revenue to conduct radon testing based on Minnesota statutes. Indoor Air Quality Management guidelines include radon issues. The Minnesota Department of Health, Indoor Environments and Radiation Section, list elements of the radon plan that include information on when and how to test, results and mitigation and reporting. Instructions are to:

· Conduct testing on school days only (not holidays, vacations or weekends), between November 1 and March 31 (short term testing method)

· Conduct testing in a manner where at least half the test duration includes days between November 1 and March 31 (long term testing method)

· Test using certified radon testing devices (per the National Radon Proficiency Program or National Radon Safety Board)

Annual NYSDOH Radon Stakeholder Meeting in Johnson City, NY on November 9, 2017

Please join us for the 2017 Annual NYSDOH Radon Stakeholder meeting to be held at the Traditions in Johnson City, NY on November 9, 2017.

The keynote address, The Radiobiology of Radon, will be presented by Guy Garty, Ph.D., Columbia University.

The American Association of Radiation Scientists and Technologists (AARST) will hold training days on Tuesday, November 7th and Wednesday, November 8th at the same location.

This annual meeting, a State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) deliverable item, is designed for all that have a stake in protecting the public from unnecessary exposure to radon in their homes and schools. Topics of discussion are issues of common interest to the stakeholders. Our meeting goals are:

  • to provide updates to our county partners;
  • to provide information about our program and projects to other various stakeholders in attendance;
  • to educate; and
  • to network.

Rhode Island Requires Testing for Public and High Priority Buildings

by Margaret Henderson

Rhode Island requires testing for radon in all public and high priority buildings as specified in the radon control rules of the state. High priority buildings include schools (public, private, parochial grades K-12) and/or child care facilities. Public buildings are those occupied by or owned, managed or leased by a state or municipal entity. See http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DOH/7679.pdf, Section 28 for radon requirements.