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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.

Connecticut Statues Regarding Radon in Schools

by Margaret Henderson

Radon in schools is addressed in Connecticut statutes and the Department of Public Health provides guidelines and technical information to the public regarding these requirements. Levels in excess of 4pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level, have been reported in some Connecticut classrooms.

Ohio Provides Checklist for Testing Schools

by Margaret Henderson

The Ohio Department of Health, Radon Licensing Program, provides an on-line School Radon Testing Checklist, instructing on how to properly test for radon in schools. The department recommends testing all schools.
https://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/eh/school%20environmental%20health/schoolradontestingchecklist.pdf

The initial approaches discusses coordinating with school administrators and communicating with students, staff and parents about the protocols. The value of pre-testing communication is believed to lessen post-testing concerns about results.

Notice of Intent To Establish Voluntary Criteria for Radon Credentialing Organizations

Notice of Intent To Establish Voluntary Criteria for Radon Credentialing Organizations
A notice of availability was published Wednesday, August, 23, 2017, in the Federal Register seeking public feedback on a proposed approach for developing voluntary criteria for organizations that credential radon service providers. The comment period for this action is open for 60 days and closes on October 23, 2017. Currently, states receiving indoor radon grants from EPA may only list providers credentialed by one or both of two recognized credentialing bodies or their state-run certification program. These criteria will establish an ongoing and open evaluation process for organizations wanting to credential radon service providers and will help states ensure high-quality radon services are available to their citizens. To access the notice, visit: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA_FRDOC_0001-21169

Alaska Offers Specific Guidance about Radon Issues

by Margaret Henderson

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services provides radon information and assistance through the University of Alaska Fairbanks Extension Service.

As determined through testing projects over a 24-year period, conducted by the University of Alaska Fairbank (supported by the USEPA), 3200 test results have been collected and 21% exceeded the USEPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L.
http://epibulletins.dhss.alaska.gov/Document/Display?DocumentId=16

The radon program activities provide outreach and education to assist residents in learning about radon, testing and mitigation. Educational opportunities include a DVD that maybe ordered on-line and a publication on radon that may be downloaded.

Pennsylvania Uses YouTube Videos to Explain About Radon

by Margaret Henderson

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Radon Division provides expert information to the public about radon. Funding is provided through a joint state and USEPA grant. The DEP notes that an estimated 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the USEPA’s action guideline of 4 pCi/L.

The DEP provides outreach through courses, staffing information booths at events, and visiting school events and home shows. Additionally, social media is used to inform and raise awareness about radon.

In using social media as one approach to inform residents about radon, YouTube videos have been placed on-line. Program Manager, Bob Lewis, explains how to test your home for radon in a YouTube video, which has received 2111 views. See “How to Test Your Home for Radon” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26AEo271aXI

Oregon Radon Mitigation Code for New Construction In Place in Several Counties

by Margaret Henderson

In Oregon, approximately 276 radon-related lung cancer deaths happen each year, according to the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Radon Awareness Program. The program provides risk-level mapping and test results by zip code and recommends testing to determine actual levels in each residence and mitigation of radon levels in excess of 4pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level.

Some Oregon counties have adopted radon mitigation code requirements for new construction. Oregon Residential Specialty Code provides information and guidance (Appendix F: Radon Control Methods).
http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/HEALTHYNEIGHBORHOODS/RADONGAS/Documents/Appendix%20F_Radon%20Control%20Methods.pdf. Counties that have requirements in place are:

  • Baker;
  • Clackamas;

Utah Department of Environmental Quality Reports Radon Data

by Margaret Henderson

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) provides radon data to the public through its website in two ways.

A table available on the DEQ website presents data for 52,517 short term radon tests (statewide total) as categorized by county and by zip code within each county (data through March 2017).
https://documents.deq.utah.gov/waste-management-and-radiation-control/planning-technical-support/radon/DRC-2017-002146.pdf

The maximum reported result was in Beaver County (664pCi/L), with 180 results of 406 tests exceeding 20 pCi/L, the recommended EPA action level. Statewide, only 3% of the total testing results in levels exceeding 20 pCi/L. Statewide, 63% of the tests reported results less than 4 pCi/L. Statewide 37% of the results exceeded 4 pCi/L.

Study on Pennsylvania Radon Occurrence in Groundwater and Potential Radon Exposure Published

by Margaret Henderson

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), has conducted a study and release findings in a May 2017 report. Results of 1041 groundwater samples from 16 geologic units were used to identify units where high media radon concentrations were present. Samples were collected between 1986-2015.

The study examined the potential radon exposures related to the specific geologic units. The study notes some limitations based on indoor air radon data’s spatial accuracy due to geocoding, and some interpretation accuracy. Usefulness of the study is in promoting awareness regarding potential exposures and identifying data gaps. Information is not intended to predict concentrations or guide decisions about whether or not to test for radon.

Within the study area, six cities with populations in excess of 30,000 were included.

Virginia’s Work on Radon in Schools

by Margaret Henderson

Virginia’s Office of Radiological Health has conducted several activities regarding radon in schools. Due to testing in the Franklin County School District which had 24 areas confirmed to have radon levels in excess of 4pCi/L, the EPA recommended action level, several activities were conducted to assist the district. (Results were from testing done in schools and administration buildings.) Virginia code requires testing schools. According to the department website, Virginia’s General Assembly passed legislation that requires all schools in the Commonwealth to be tested for radon after July 1, 1994, as well as any new school buildings. Each school is required to maintain files of radon test results.