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Iowa’s 10 Step Action Plan for the Public Provides Guidance Via the Internet

by Margaret Henderson

In Iowa, radon is a significant health issue. The Iowa radon study indicated that 71.6% of homes tested above the Environmental Protection Agency recommended action level of 4pCi/L. To provide the public with easy to understand information about radon, the Iowa Department of Health uses its website to communication with the public.

The website provides a downloadable brochure that gives members of the public a 10 Step Action Plan for dealing with radon. See http://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/Files/Radon/10%20Step%20Action%20Plan%202012.pdf.

Report on New York Annual Radon Stakeholders Meeting

Contributed by Cynthia Stephenson

The annual Radon Stakeholders meeting was held on October 27, 2016 at the Traditions on the Glen, in Johnson City, New York. There were 65 stakeholders in attendance and included:
• county health departments;
• home inspectors;
• radon testers and mitigators;
• the Southern Tier Association of Home Inspectors; and
• elected official Clifford Crouch of Assembly District 122.

Senator Fred Akshar of the 52nd District and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, District 123, and Chair for the New York State Clear Air Committee, joined the meeting during a working lunch with stakeholders to answer questions about the legislative process and to gather information on radon. Their presence at the annual meeting was focused on fact finding and education about the health effects and risk from long term exposure to elevated levels of radon in the home. Radon is present at elevated levels in about 37 percent of the basements in New York State homes.

Webinar, November 29: FREE, Public Health Ethics: A Case in Environmental Health—A Case on Radon

This webinar offered by the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy and the NCC for Environmental Health, will feature a case involving radon and will highlight both evidence and ethics. This webinar has been developed primarily for public health inspectors, but should also be of interest to a general audience. The webinar will take place on November 29, 2016, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Online registration is now open.
http://www.ncchpp.ca/128/presentations.ccnpps?id_article=1607

Alaska Radon Testing Increases with Influx of Federal and Military Residents

An Update from Arthur Nash

The biggest push this year with the SIRG program is that while we will continue to help schools test, realtors are a target of our outreach. We've been getting progressively more calls from realty companies. Though there is no requirement for testing upon completion of new home construction or at the transaction of a home, the fact that Alaska has many federal hires and military transfers has prompted relocation companies from the lower 48 to demand that testing takes place before their clients move into Alaskan residences. Thus we are finding that some inspectors are getting equipment to test at a favorable volume due to the expectations and requests of lower 48 relocation companies. This is a new factor for me regarding outreach and is a unique feature of our population influx.

For more information, contact:
Art Nash Jr.
alnashjr@alaska.edu
Telephone: 907-474-6366
Energy Specialist
Cooperative Extension Service

Wyoming Encourages Building Officials to Adopt Radon Resistant New Construction Techniques

by Margaret Henderson

In a brochure, “Building Radon Out of Wyoming,” the Wyoming Department of Public Health works with and encourages building officials to adopt Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) techniques found in Appendix F of the International Residential Building Code. The code is designed for the installation of passive radon mitigation systems in new homes. Adoption is at the discretion of local building code officials and is encourage by the department.

According to the department, approximately 37% of Wyoming homes have radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level. Wyoming is classified by EPA as Zone 1, which is the highest zone for having the potential for elevated levels of radon in homes.

Save the Date: April 20–21, 2017—EPA, CO, MT, ND, SD, UT and WY Offer Stakeholders Meeting

Save the Date – April 20 & 21, 2017

NOTE CHANGE OF DATE

From “Save the Date Announcement”

You are cordially invited to attend the EPA Region 8 Radon Stakeholders’ Meeting. This meeting is being held at no cost for all those who have a stake in protecting the public from unnecessary exposure to radon in their homes, schools and businesses.

EPA Region 8 and its partners, Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality, North Dakota Dept. of Health, South Dakota Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality and the Wyoming Dept. of Health seek to bring interested stakeholders together to discuss common issues and understand them from other perspectives, provide insight into the future, share, educate and network. We believe that meetings such as this will better provide all of us with ways to assist the public and reduce radon exposures.

Idaho 2016 Map Online Shows Zip Code Level Radon Results

by Margaret Henderson

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare website features an interactive map of radon levels by zip code. The 2016 Radon Map’s data table provides the number of tests and percent of test in excess of 3.9 pCi/L. The EPA recommended action level is 4.0 pCi/L. The color-coded map provides the percent of tests in excess of 3.9 pCi/L in these categories:
• 54-79%
• 34-54%
• 18-34%
• 0-18%
• other

The base map was created using the USGS (U.S. Geologic Service) topographic map. When zoomed to the 2 mile scale, roads and other features are visible along with zip code areas. A FAQ menu provides details on radon.

The mapping application allows residents to examine test results in their area and the guidance provides details for making decisions on radon testing and mitigation.

See:

Kansas Radon Map Presents 73,959 Data Entries

by Margaret Henderson

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Radon Program and Kansas State University have developed a state map by county that represents 73,959 data entries collected since 1988 through June 2014. The map is available for study purposes. The department emphasizes that the only way to know radon levels in a home is to test.

Of the reported test results, 31,539 (43%) exceeded 4 pCi/L, the EPA recommended action level. The maximum result was 1,121.6 pCi/L and 1957 results exceeded 20 pCi/L. The majority of the counties show results exceeding 4 pCi/L. See http://www.kansasradonprogram.org/files/kansasradonprogram/county-map/Ks_Cty_AvgRadon2014.pdf. A downloadable zip file of county maps and test results is available on the site http://www.kansasradonprogram.org/county-map.

Cancer Moonshot Task Force Includes Radon in Its Year 1 Implementation Plans

Cancer Moonshot Report of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, published October 17, 2016, identifies the role of partnerships to avoid carcinogenic risks by reducing radon in its Year 1, Implementation Plan.

Quoting from the report, page 21:

Partnership to Avoid Carcinogenic Risks by Reducing Radon Exposure

User Friendly Minnesota Public Health Tracking Website Presents Radon Data

by Margaret Henderson

The Minnesota Department of Health hosts a website featuring the Minnesota Environmental Public Health Tracking (MN Tracking) Program. This user-friendly website presents radon data from 2000-2014 with charts and an interactive map presenting data from specified time periods.

Charts note that the average radon level in Minnesota (4.6 pCi/L), which is above the EPA recommended action level. Because the Minnesota soil has high levels of radon and home heating systems draw in radon gas and increase the indoor air concentrations of radon, the department notes Minnesota has a serious health issue with radon.

On the county level, approximately 78% of Minnesotan counties have average radon levels in the highest category, exceeding 4 pi/L. Another chart shows average radon concentrations changing with seasons, ranging from 5.1 pCi/L in winter to 3.9 pCi/L in summer.