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Florida Medical Guidance Includes Comparison of Radiation Dose from Radon

by Margaret Henderson

Save More Lives: Prevent Radon-Induced Lung Cancer, a brochure published by the Radon Program of Florida Health Radon Program, is designed for medical personnel. One in five homes tested in Florida has elevated radon levels, in excess of the 4 pCi/L recommended by USEPA as an action level.

Why patients need to know about radon and how can a provider can help patients are some questions answered in the brochure. Additionally, it explains radon health effects and how radon is measured.

Comparisons of radiation exposure, Average Annual Radiation Dose per Person at 1.4 pCi/L (Picocurie per Liter), is given in a chart. For radon, the percentage is 37. The contribution from radon is compared to medical exposures, such as:

* Computed Tomography - 24%;

* Nuclear Medicine - 12%;

* Interventional Fluoroscopy - 7%; and

* Conventional Radiology - 5%.

The brochure makes two suggestions for medical professionals:

Announcing the New York Radon Stakeholder Fall Meeting

Please join us for the 2018 Annual New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Radon Stakeholder meeting to be held at the Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City, NY on October 25, 2018.

The keynote address, Avoiding Lung Cancer: Improving the Air We Breathe, will be presented by Ronald Hublall, MD, Guthrie Medical Center.

The American Association of Radiation Scientists and Technologists (AARST) will hold training days on Tuesday, October 23rd and Wednesday, October 24th at the same location prior to the meeting.

This annual meeting, a State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) deliverable item, is designed for all who 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;

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.

• 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.