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Multi-media outreach can generate state-wide coverage about radon awareness

Now is a great time to start planning early for the next National Radon Action Month— in January 2015. By planning your media campaign early and getting a head start on developing outreach materials, you will be in excellent shape to launch a great campaign in six months and raise radon awareness throughout your state during next year’s National Radon Action Month.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) developed a highly successful multi-media approach in 2014. KDHE used press releases, You Tube, Twitter and pre-packaged public service announcements to achieve broad social media, television and newspaper coverage. Using their example, other state health departments can design outreach programs to raise awareness statewide.

Kansas Outreach and Certification Efforts Save Lives

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) works in partnership with Kansas State University (KSU) on an innovative radon outreach program that prevents lung cancer. Through a radon grant program with EPA, the state university serves as a National Radon Service Provider. KSU also serves as a contractor to the KDHE.

Kim Steves, the supervisor of the radon program at KDHE, says KSU “does the brunt of the training and speaking engagements and outreach activities,” while she oversees the contract with KSU and the regulatory program within her department that certifies technicians and laboratories. She also works collaboratively with the department’s Healthy Homes Program, the state Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, and the Kansas Cancer Partnership. One goal for the department this year is to produce a video of a home radon mitigation in collaboration with KSU for training purposes.

Texas: Large State with Small Radon Issues

Although Texas covers a large geographic area its geology is such that only a small number of localized areas have elevated radon concentrations. Texas homes on the average have less than 1.0 pCi/L of radon, one-fourth the EPA action-level. Locations where radon may be an issue are in well-defined regions: the Llano uplift, which is a granite formation in central Texas, and parts of the west Texas regions including the Panhandle and the Big Bend region. Even though the need for assistance on indoor radon issues is modest, Texas maintains a helpful website www.dshs.state.tx.us/radiation/radon.shtm with facts about testing and mitigation of radon. The website also shows the results of an initial study of state’s potential radon issues.

Minnesota Department of Health Job Posting

The Minnesota Department of Health is hiring a Project Consultant to promote radon to builders, real estate professionals, related groups, and the general public. These activities are designed to minimize exposures to radon in indoor air, with the emphasis on addressing radon in new home construction. This position will coordinate and conduct outreach to the building construction community, develop collaborative partnerships to implement the Gold Standard for Radon Resistant New Construction Program, and evaluate and analyze information to improve outcomes. In addition, it will also assist in educating real estate professionals, potential home buyers, and the general public on radon and other indoor air hazards.

The Project Consultant – 14HEAL000202 vacancy is open competitive (all qualified job seekers), effective May 30, 2014 through midnight on June 19, 2014.

The job posting can be found at:

Briefly Legal: What to do about radon if you are buying or selling a home

What can you do if you are selling a home that may have elevated radon levels. What should you do if you are a home buyer and you are not sure if the house you want to buy has radon? There are legal actions you can take as both a seller and a home buyer to keep yourself and your family safe.


Read the full article here.

Could You Have Unsafe Radon Levels in Your Home?

It is odorless, colorless and tasteless and is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year across the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates one in 15 homes nationwide have unsafe radon levels. If your home is one of them, there are steps you can take.

Read the full article here.

The American Lung Association Launches LUNG FORCE to Prevent, Manage and Cure Cancer

On May 13, 2014, the American Lung Association (ALA) launched its first nationwide campaign targeting lung cancer: LUNG FORCE.

The campaign calls upon all women to unite in the fight against lung cancer, in an effort to promote lung health. Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women in the United States. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

LUNG FORCE seeks to change people’s minds about what it means to have lung cancer, so that everyone understands their risks, and can organize to spur innovations in research that will lead to prevention, earlier lung cancer diagnosis and management, and more personalized lung cancer treatments.

ALA’s LUNG FORCE invites everyone to pledge to spread awareness of the risks of lung cancer and act to reduce them: http://www.lungforce.org/take-pledge.

The Arkansas State Radon Program: While Risks Are Not Common, the State Manages Them Well

The following information was compiled following a recent interview with Angela Minden, Health Physicist, and Bernie Bevill, Section Chief, Arkansas Department of Health Radiation Control Section.

Arkansas is fortunate in that it does not have much of an issue with excess radon in homes. What’s more, Arkansas is an upstanding example of a state that continues to offer good public health services related to radon testing and mitigation where it is warranted. Arkansas’s state radon program regularly responds to telephone inquiries regarding radon. It also provides useful public information about radon on its website, including an interesting discussion of the geology of Arkansas and the potential for radon to infiltrate buildings: Findings featured in this article are supported by survey results.

Idaho Indoor Environment Program: Interview with Jim Faust, Program Manager

The following information was compiled following a recent interview with Jim Faust, Program Manager of the Idaho Indoor Environment Program. Mr. Faust explained his program's commitment to spreading radon awareness and encouraging radon testing and mitigation throughout Idaho.

Idaho’s Indoor Environment Program (IEP) actively raises radon awareness in communities throughout the state. The program informs residents about radon issues that pertain to their respective geographic areas, and provides residents with information on radon testing and mitigation to prevent lung cancer. The program also refers residents to suppliers who offer reduced rates on radon testing to address health concerns and serves as a resource in real estate transactions.

Throughout the year, this busy program conducts outreach at public meetings, provides radon awareness information to newspapers, and gets the word out through television interviews.

Healthy Homes Conference May, 2014

My abstract presentation will focus on how individual and personal connection is powerful and productive in radon awareness, education, and action in preventing radon-induced lung cancer.