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EPA Awards $2.4 Million to Improve Indoor Air Quality

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding 17 cooperative agreements to nonprofit organizations and a university, totaling approximately $2.4 million to improve indoor air quality nationwide. Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors where levels of air pollution may be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. Indoor air pollutants, such as dust mites, can trigger asthma attacks and radon can cause lung cancer.

“EPA is proud to be working with our partners nationwide to improve the air we breathe at school, work and home,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “American communities face serious health and environmental challenges from air pollution. This effort gives us an opportunity to improve indoor air quality by increasing awareness of environmental health risks.”

Radon and Granite Counter Tops Research

Assessing exposure to granite countertops—part 2: Radon
Joseph G Allen, Taeko Minegishi, Theodore A Myatt, James H Stewart, John F Mccarthy and David L Macintosh
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiology 2010 20: 263-272

Assessing exposure to granite countertops—part 1: Radiation
Theodore A Myatt, Joseph G Allen, Taeko Minegishi, William B Mccarthy, James H Stewart, David L Macintosh and John F Mccarthy
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiology 2010 20: 273-280

Environmental Justice Forum in Denver

The Environmental Section of The American Public Health Association cordially invite you to an Environmental Justice Forum

The Focus: Issues, Partnerships, and Best Practices to Address Environmental Injustice and Health Issues

At this meeting, leaders from community-based organizations from across the country will come together to discuss their local Environ-mental Justice and Health Issues. The agenda will include discussion of ways to build capacity to address EJ and health issues, the use of partnerships to address EJ and health issues, federal initiatives to ad-dress EJ and health issues, and best practices. Come share your story!!!

Who: Community leaders and members, Organizations, Stu-dents, Environmental justice advocates, Government offi-cials, University partners, Researchers and other stake-holders. ALL ARE WELCOMED!!!

When: Saturday, November 6, 2010

Time: 4pm-7:30pm

Where: Denver Convention Center, Room TBA

Radon TEE's Youngest Supporter

October 21, 2010

Dearest Jacob,

How great it was to see you in Columbus, Ohio, at the International Radon Symposium when you presented CanSAR with your extremely generous check for $1,055.00! You have certainly surpassed any single individual’s donation this year to CanSAR, and your name will be place on our website as a very special contributor. Your video presentation, which accompanied your donation, was without a doubt the highlight of the Sunday night reception!

I truly enjoyed your Charity Birthday Party and felt very privileged to be a part of it. Jacob you are an amazing guy, and the members of CanSAR are very appreciative of the part you are playing in the Radon TEE campaign to help save lives through Radon awareness, testing and mitigation. Your enthusiasm for life and for helping others is very contagious!

HUD Strategic Plan

Deputy Secretary Ron Sims has created a HUD Healthy Homes Task Force, and radon is one of the issues that the Task Force will address, with the goal being to integrate radon testing and mitigation better into HUD’s housing programs. HUD also participates in a Federal Healthy Homes Work Group that facilitates interagency communication and coordination on healthy homes issues. The Work Group is in the final stages of developing a federal “Strategy for Action” to advance healthy housing which will include radon as a priority environmental health hazard. The results of this work group will be available online for all to see in Fall 2010.

Update NCSL's Work on Radon

One of the top concerns regarding radon policy is the fact that there is no mandatory radon testing or mitigation laws. Rather, any requirement to test a house for radon or reduce radon hazards must come from the states (or in some instances, local jurisdictions). EPA does provide technical assistance to states in designing and developing a radon program, but it cannot mandate that a state take on such a program.

That being said, almost every state has established some sort of radon program. Several states require that radon tests be disclosed to buyers of a home, though none require testing be done. Tests are required for schools and in day care centers in many states. If high levels are detected, certain states require the mitigation of the radon hazard. Nineteen states require contractors who mitigate be certified, and 8 states adopted standards for radon-resistant new construction.

Radon Collateral Now Available

Dear Radon Leaders,

On a limited basis, radon stakeholders are invited to order free radon collateral to supplement 2011 National Radon Action Month outreach activities and events. Orders will be processed by TV Access, a contractor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Regional, state and local government radon contacts are welcomed to place their order for radon collateral by December 3, 2010 via orders@tvaccess.com. If there is remaining collateral after December 3, 2010, then TV Access will begin filling orders from other radon stakeholders.

The maximum order for each radon stakeholder group (e.g., state and local radon programs, non-profit organizations, and radon professionals) comprises the following:

1 box of 480 post-its
1 box of 150 carpenter pencils + 20 lapel pins (house shape)
1 box with 175 pens + 20 lapel pins (rectangular)

Call to Action: Join a National Radon Standards Workgroup

As you know, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has committed to invest funding to support the development of several critical national radon standards. While we have (limited) funding to support this, we do not have deep staff expertise, and the radon community needs your help. As a dedicated member of the professional radon community, we invite you to participate in one of four workgroups on the following topics:

  • Mitigation in schools
  • Measurement in schools
  • Laboratory quality
  • Multifamily housing mitigation

Each workgroup will be small and will be asked to write, review and revise the standards as needed. We anticipate a commitment from 9-18 months, of about 6-8 hours each month.

For more information, contact Jani Palmer at palmer.janise@epa.gov.

Prescription for Radon, A Medical Forum

Around the nation there have been a variety of forums. After attending the 2007 USEPA Contractor Radon Conference in Columbus, Ohio, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Radon Program and the American Lung Association (ALA) of the Upper Midwest planned what we hoped would be the first medical forum. With funding and assistance from USEPA, the Illinois Thoracic Society, MURC, and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and several other partners, we forged ahead.

The purpose of the project was to create a repeatable event that would offer continuing education to medical professionals where they would learn about the connection between radon and lung cancer. It was our thought that those that treat victims of lung cancer were not hearing the radon message and the conference was one answer to that issue.

National Dialogue on Green and Healthy Homes

One More Week! Sign Up Today!
November 4-21, 2010

How can we integrate efforts and overcome barriers to make homes healthy, safe, and energy efficient?

The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and the National Academy of Public Administration are hosting an online dialogue to engage stakeholders from across the country to examine ideas and leading practices for making low- to moderate-income homes healthier, safer and more energy efficient.

In preparation for the Dialogue, we would like to ask you to do four things to help us spread the word about The National Dialogue on Green and Healthy Homes:

1. Sign up! The Dialogue will launch on November 4th. Until then, you can sign up to receive email updates at www.GreenAndHealthyHomesDialogue.org.

2. Promote the Dialogue! Consider emailing your organization's contacts inviting them to participate in the Dialogue, or placing an announcement on your organization's website or in a newsletter.