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Radon Division Chief Michael Pyles Retires

Dear Radon Colleagues: It is with both sorrow and joy that we announce that after 36 years with the PA DEP, Bureau of Radiation Protection, Radon Division, Michael Pyles, Radon Division Chief is retiring. Friday June 18th is Mike's last day.

Mike and I first met in our field office which was established in Gilbertsville, PA, in 1985, in the heart of the PA radon country, The Reading Prong. Those early days were very hectic with literally thousands of home inspections to perform, reporters to talk to and helicopters landing in our backyard with the Governor on board.

In 1990 our field office was closed and we moved to our central office, in Harrisburg. Mike has been commuting from the Reading, PA area to Harrisburg now for the past 20 years. I know he won't miss that commute.

Augmented Allotment of SIRG FY 2010 Funds

Friday, 11-June-2010 @ 12:58PM EDT

Dear RLSL Stakeholders--

Be advised. EPA is seeking to receive short 1-page proposals supplementing existing/proposed projects, or new projects from SIRG recipients, probably by June 25th. When crafting proposals, states-tribes should consider how their projects advance the Radon Leaders Saving Lives (RLSL) campaign goals. Further details on the process and timing will be made available here early next week.

Noted Urologist and Radon Activist Dies of Lung Cancer

Richard D. Williams, M.D., Rubin H. Flocks Professor and former Head of the University of Iowa Department of Urology, died on May 28, 2010 at age 65 following a brave fight against cancer.

Dr. Williams became an important figure in the radon community after developing lung cancer, which he believed was induced by radon. Watch video below of Dr. Williams' story (beginning at the 9:09 mark of the video) during the recent "Cancer in Iowa: 2010" news briefing.

Watch video

Read Dr. Williams' obituary

Region 5 Medical Forum- Thoughts from the organizer

The EPA Region 5 Prescription for Radon Medical Forum was held last month in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Despite limited attendance by the medical community, the event offered many positive outcomes. Primarily, the event gave Midwestern radon stakeholders a chance to strengthen partnerships and build new relationships. Attendance was just under 50 people and groups represented included the medical community (primarily cancer nurses and physician's assistants), the radon industry, local and state health departments, a local fire department and several nonprofit organizations.

Radon TEE Webinar Held Today...

Today I had the great opportunity to facilitate the webinar, “Getting the Most out of Radon TEE.” This particular gathering was designed for state team captains who have registered to be future hosts of Radon TEE in the campaign, Radon TEE World Trek: 2010. Dave Naggar from Mass.; Angel Price from N.C.; Dennis Vaughn from Tenn.; Aimee Morrow from S.C.; Anita Kopera, Linda Jordan and Pat from N.J.; and Chris Keyser and Mark Jones from Utah were all in attendance. We were also joined by Jeggan Cole from CRCPD and Lou Witt, Gina Bowler and Kelly Hunt from EPA.

STUK recommends radon protection for all detached houses constructed

Please read this news release, received via the Radon Professionals List-serv from Hannu Arvela of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority Finland (STUK).

Read more

Tees visit - work related stops

While traveling in PA with me Radon Tee attended the 5th annual TriState AARST Spring Training Seminar, also attended a dinner presentation sponsored by the local chapter of the American Nuclear Society and attended a dinner presentation sponsored by the local Health Physics Society where the HPS President-elect Edward F Maher was speaking. Mr. Maher mentioned the HPS UPDATE ON PERSPECTIVES AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON INDOOR RADON. In 2009 the Health Physics Society encouraged members of the public to minimize exposure to radon and its radioactive decay products to the extent reasonably achievable, taking into account applicable technical, economic, and social factors. Mr. Maher was presented a radon tee to take with him on his travels.

Please complete streamlined NRAM feedback form by May 28

EPA's National Radon Action Month

Streamlined 2010 NRAM feedback questions are now posted and will take only a few minutes of your time. Please complete the survey by May 28, 2010.


Winner Selected in the 2010 Illinois High School Radon Video Contest

The American Lung Association in Illinois (ALAIL) and Illinois Emergency Management Agency Radon Program (IEMA) along with University of Illinois Extension Office, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 want to spread the word about the dangers of radon gas. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas that causes lung cancer. The Surgeon General lists radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and it is also the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Fifty percent of Illinois counties are considered at high risk and we are seeking new and creative methods of informing the public.

To increase radon awareness, we are hosting a statewide radon video contest. We are calling on Illinois high school students and classes to create a 1 minute YouTube video that will increase public awareness of radon gas and encourage people to test their homes.

Region 4 Radon Meeting Follow-up - State Cancer Action Plans

One highlight of the recent EPA Region 4 Prescription for Radon Medical Forum was a discussion around state Cancer Action Plans. All states have plans.

A group of stakeholders in Kentucky is working to integrate information on radon into the prevention section, which is the next section to be updated. Learn more about the current Kentucky plan here.

Have you worked with doctors or nurses on radon in your area or state? Are you interested in finding ways to integrate radon into your state Cancer Action Plan? Share your thoughts and interest by commenting below.