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SIRG Projects: Inclusion of Radon in State Cancer Plans

With support coming through the USEPA SIRG program, states have worked to have radon included in state cancer plans. During the funding year 2019, several states achieved success in this area. EPA reports that Grantees continue to leverage opportunities to update cancer control plans, resulting in 85% (40 out of 47) of state cancer control plans addressing radon. Similar to the previous reporting cycle, nearly 62% (29 out of 47) of state cancer control plans include specific objectives and/or strategies aimed at reducing radon risk.

Some examples of success come from the Utah Cancer Control Program, the Alabama Cancer Control Plan, and the Minnesota Cancer Alliance Radon Workgroup.

Connecticut Delays Radon Testing in Schools Due to COVID 19 Closures

The Connecticut Department of Public Health has adopted radon testing guidelines for public schools pursuant to the State of Connecticut Department of Education statute pertaining to indoor air quality.
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.)Sec. 10-220(d) “prior to January 1, 2008 and every five years thereafter,” all schools shall be evaluated for radon levels as part of a uniform inspection and evaluation of the indoor air quality in buildings.

Considering recent school closures, please note that radon testing activities scheduled for March should be postponed until the next testing season. Radon testing is not to be conducted while school is not in session.

For future announcements, see https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Environmental-Health/Radon/Radon-In-Schools

Radon Requirements for Privatized Military Housing

Sharing with State Radon Programs.....from Chrystine Kelley, E-25 Chair, CRCPD, and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Radon Program Manager, chrys.kelley@state.co.us

Section 3061 of the Defense Reauthorization Act (documented on page 1520 in the conference committee report – CRPT-116Hrpt333 on Senate Bill 1790), as passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in December, includes radon requirements for privatized military housing:

  • Regular testing of dwellings by persons who possess certification
  • Testing procedures consistent with current national consensus standards and in compliance with Federal, State and local radon regulations
  • Submission of mitigation plans for building with high radon levels

Once AARST figures how implementation will work on the ground, we will provide an update, and host a webinar if appropriate.

Jane Malone
National Policy Director

SIRG Projects: Education and Outreach to Medical Community

Through funding supported by the USEPA and the states, collaborative efforts have worked in a variety of ways to reduce radon risks and save lives. During the 2019 funding year, an important goal has been achieved in increasing awareness, education and outreach to the medical community.

During 2019, education and outreach to the medical community was performed by numerous states. Examples of accomplishments come from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Missouri Radon program, and the Idaho Indoor Radon Project (IIRP).

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) partnered with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU-SOM) to create several online Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses for medical professionals.

Minnesota Finds Radon Mitigation Reflect Disparities in Income, Housing, and Home Values

New data published (press release January 2020), from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), indicate radon mitigation rates in areas of the metro show disparities in income, housing and home values. The information will be used to target promotional efforts and outreach toward the sectors most at risk. This work was conducted by the MDH Environmental Public Health Tracking and Biomonitoring Program.

Findings indicate that there were lower rates of mitigation in households living in poverty and rental housing in the seven-county Twin Cities metro region, thus illustrating health inequities.

Findings were:

· Household poverty rates are three times higher in areas with low mitigation.

· The percent of rental housing is 2.7 times higher in areas with low mitigation – roughly 45%, compared to 17% across high mitigation areas.

· Median home value is 1.5 times lower in areas with low mitigation – $197,000 on average, compared to $309,000 across high mitigation areas.

Oregon Health Authority Updates Radon Risk Map in January 2020

by Margaret Henderson

The Oregon Health Authority has updated its Radon Risk Map as of January 2020. Much of Oregon is show “at risk.” Risk level methodology is explained at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/HEALTHYNEIGHBORHOODS/RADONGAS/Documents/Radon%20Risk%20Level%20Assignment.pdf

Risk levels are defined as “Low, Moderate and High,” within each zip code area based on considering three factors:

· the maximum observed test result value;

· the average test result value; and

· the percent of locations with a test result that was greater than or equal to 4 picocuries per liter (piC/L) within the zip code.

This map summarizes test results of indoor air for radon that test kit manufacturers have voluntarily provided to OHA's Radon Awareness Program.

ANSI/AARST Standards - Complimentary Webinar for AARST Members and NRPP-Certified Professionals

Webinar Registration Link

Join leadership from AARST, CRCPD, and EPA for a complimentary webinar for AARST members and NRPP-certified professionals. This webinar will focus on the following topics:

- EPA's notice recommending state radon programs adopt the AARST/ANSI consensus standards for radon testing and mitigation.

- An overview of AARST and CRCPD, and updates from these organizations.

- An overview of AARST and a review/comparison of the current AARST/ANSI consensus standards, the standards committees, and upcoming standards work.

- An overview of the new standards portal, standards.aarst.org, where complimentary view / paid download access to the standards is available.

* One hour of continuing education credit will be awarded to NRPP-certified professionals completing the webinar.

Safety Sheet: COVID 19 Virus and Upcoming Webinar

On behalf of the CRCPD E25 Committee on Radon, I am sharing with you information on an upcoming webinar for radon states and a safety sheet for radon contractors in regards to home inspections and radon testing in relation to the COVID 19 virus (please share!).

For those of you that can't attend the webinar at the designated time, I will share a link to the recorded webinar after it is held.

SAFETY SHEET

The safety sheet is attached and members man view it by logging in.

WEBINAR

Tue, Apr 14, 2020 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM MDT
Radon Standards Update for CRCPD Members

Join members from AARST, CRCPD, and EPA for a complimentary webinar for state radon programs. This webinar will focus on the following topics:

- EPA's notice recommending state radon programs adopt the AARST/ANSI consensus standards for radon testing and mitigation.

Judge Dismisses Radon Lawsuit: MDH is Implementing Mitigation Licensure

The lawsuit against the Commissioner of Health, concerning the Minnesota Radon Licensing Act (MRLA), was dismissed by a district court judge on February 20, 2020.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is moving forward with implementing the residential mitigation licensure requirements under the MRLA and its associated rule. In the near future, MDH will provide additional information including deadlines for obtaining licenses and tags, and instructions for how to proceed if you hold a measurement or commercial mitigation license. We will focus on education and compliance assistance in the first year. Education and additional communications will be provided to stakeholders throughout the process.

Mitigation professionals should prepare to obtain a mitigation license.

Alaska Published Guidance and Information Promoting Radon Action Month

University of Alaska Fairbanks News and Information promoted Radon Action Month with publication of an article and offer of free radon test kits.

“Free radon test kits available during January,” by Debbie Carter, published on January 16, 2020, announced that January was National Radon Action Month, and that free radon test kits were available during the month.

Quoting Art Nash, the energy specialist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, the article notes that “January is a good time to test for the radioactive gas. When doors and windows are sealed tightly, radon levels inside the home can rise. Radon develops when uranium in bedrock and soil decays, and it can enter a building through cracks and holes in a building’s foundation,” it explains.