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Margaret Henderson's blog

Minnesota Announces Radon Stakeholder Meetings - Blaine, Mankato and St. Cloud

The Minnesota Department of Health’s Radon Stakeholder meetings are coming up. They will take place at the end of October and early November. We will be covering a number of important topics including the Radon Licensing Rules, Standards, License Application IT System, Enforcement, Inspections and audits, and QA/QC plans. Six hours of Category I Continuing Education credits will be provided to NRPP certified individuals.

Who should attend:

* Radon Professionals

* Local Health Agencies (Please note: Local Partner meetings are being scheduled)

When and where:

* October 24, 2018 9 am - 4 pm, SBM Fire Department, 11920 Ulysses St NE, Blaine, MN 55434

* October 25, 2018 9 am - 4 pm, MDH Mankato District Office, 12 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 1205, Mankato, MN 56001

* November 1, 2018, 9 am - 4 pm, MDH St. Cloud District Office, 3333 W Division St, Suite 212, St. Cloud, MN 56301

Rhode Island Radon Map Shows Test Data by Town

by Margaret Henderson

The State of Rhode Island Department of Health Radon Control Program promotes radon testing and mitigation through outreach and education and manages and maintains a database of radon test results. Approximately one in four homes has levels of radon that exceed the USEPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L. The Program’s mission is “To protect Rhode Islanders from lung cancer due to radon exposure by ensuring that no homes, schools, or other high priority public buildings have unacceptable radon levels.”

Connecticut Testing Over Time Reveals Increased Testing and High Levels of Radon

by Margaret Henderson

The Connecticut Department of Health Radon Program radon testing data results have been made available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracking Network for the years 2000-2016. The data are from buildings tested and not all buildings in the areas and other data gaps may occur. For instance, on the Tracking Network, test results that are not designated as pre- or post-mitigation by the state are included with pre-mitigation data. Even with data limitations, results are enlightening.

Kansas Radon Data Directs Attention to Areas with Radon Issues

by Margaret Henderson

Kansas radon testing data from the state’s database for 2016 are available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracing Network. Using the mapping tool, users can identify areas of interest that may suggest the need for increased testing or mitigation of high levels of radon.

Map, table and chart presentations reveal numbers of test results that exceeded the USEPA 4 pCi/L recommended action level in each county in the state for the 2016 period. Notably high is Johnson County with 2638 of the reported 5662 tests having test results exceeding the action level, with the maximum pre-mitigation level being 59.7 pCi/L.

The data presentation draws attention the radon issues in Johnson County, which have been noted previously using prior data as prepared by Kansas State University and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Nevada Announces 2019 Radon Poster Contest: Deadline October 31, 2018

Nevada Announces 2019 Radon Poster Contest: Deadline October 31, 2018

With the goal of raising awareness to the risks of radon exposure, the Nevada Radon Education Program and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health are sponsoring the 2019 Radon Poster Contest.

The contest is open to Nevada youth ages 9-14 who are enrolled in various schools, groups or clubs. Teachers are asked to encourage their students to enter. A Teacher Incentive provides cash reward for the top three winning posters, with funds to be used for classroom supplies.

Judging will consider accuracy of information, visual communication and originality. Artwork specifications and entry form are provided in the entry materials attached. The entry information includes illustrations of past winners from the years 2012 – 2017.

For more information about entries:
NV Radon Poster Contest
Attn: Nadia Noel
4955 Energy Way
Reno, NV 89502
Phone: 1-888-RADON10 (1-888-723-6610)

Massachusetts Features Radon in First Issue of MassTrack Newsletter

by Margaret Henderson

The Massachusetts Department of Health Indoor Air Quality Program advises the public about the health significance of high levels of indoor radon. The Program provides advice and assistance and receives funding from the USEPA State Indoor Radon Grant.

In Massachusetts, an estimated 650,000 homes have radon levels that exceed the USEPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L. Approximately 34,000 homes in Massachusetts have radon levels that exceed 20 pCi/L. In order to encourage testing and mitigation, the Program provides information in a variety of ways. In 2018, the Program featured radon in the first issue (Volume 1, Issue 1) of MassTrack, Tracking Public Health in the Environment and Your Community. https://matracking.ehs.state.ma.us/newsletter/pdf/MassTrack_Winter_2018.pdf

Vermont Addresses Radon and Lung Cancer Risk

by Margaret Henderson

Vermont’s Healthy Homes website includes a video on one Vermont resident who lost her mother to lung cancer, likely caused by high radon levels in the home as found by testing the home after her mother’s passing at the suggestion of her physician. She encourages everyone to test their homes because it can “save your life.” http://www.healthvermont.gov/radon

One in eight homes in Vermont is anticipated to have elevated radon levels. To encourage awareness of radon hazards and testing, Vermont presents radon test results in an analytical tool that includes information on the percent of smokers in Vermont.

Wisconsin Includes Radon in Healthiest Wisconsin 2020

by Margaret Henderson

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has included radon in its state health plan, Healthiest Wisconsin 2020. Objective 2 of Environmental and Occupational Health states:

“By 2020, increase the percentage of homes with healthy, safe environments in all communities. (Safe environments are free from lead paint hazards, mold or moisture damage, environmental tobacco smoke and safety hazards, and include carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and radon testing and mitigation.)”

Approximately one in ten homes in Wisconsin has elevated radon levels. To achieve its objective of increasing testing and mitigation, the state has established 17 Radon Information Centers throughout the state to perform a variety of tasks, staffed with experts who are given goals, targets and reporting requirements.

South Carolina Adds a New Brochure on Radon to Publications

by Margaret Henderson

Does Your Home Have a Radon Problem? is a new brochure by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SDHEC) explains that in South Carolina, radon can be a problem.
https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/CR-006953.pdf. A chart of lung cancer risk and radon levels is presented along with the Surgeon General’s warning. Risks, facts and what to do about radon are discussed.

In South Carolina, some radon levels found through testing have been as high as 126 pCi/L. The recommended action level by the USEPA is 4 pCi/L. Test data, as of March 2018, gives average in radon concentrations in homes that have been tested by county, with number of tests, average result and highest level.

Michigan Outreach Includes Information for Health Care Providers to Distribute

by Margaret Henderson

The State Indoor Radon Program, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, increases awareness of radon health risks through outreach and sharing of information. Its goal is to encourage testing and mitigation if levels found through testing are elevated.

Throughout the years, test results collected revealed that Michigan residents may be exposed to radon at levels that should be mitigated, above the 4 pCi/L USEPA recommended action level. In some counties, as many as 40-45% of the homes are anticipated to have elevated radon and statewide, approximately one in eight homes would be expected to have high levels.

Health data ranks Michigan above the national average of 58.3 per 100,000 people for lung and bronchus cancer incidence. The Michigan average is 63.4 per 100,000. With this incidence of lung disease, targeting the medical profession and enlisting their aid to address radon exposure was determined to be an appropriate outreach mechanism.