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Maine Assists in Assuring Needed Training is Provided to the Regulated Industry and Residents of Maine

By Margaret Henderson

The State of Maine Radiation Control Radon Program, at the request of some 170 companies it regulates, is under-writing a portion of radon training courses to be presented in June. According to Bob Stillwell, Radon Coordinator, “We are under-writing a portion of the costs as a service to our industry, and to help to make sure the trainings happen even if people don’t sign up for the courses until the last minute. If we don’t do that, and run the courses as open market, the trainers usually have to cancel about two weeks before due to low enrollment." The courses, offerings include:

  • two day course on Radon Measurement;
  • three day course on Radon Mitigation; and
  • three eight-hour continuing education classes on Radon In Water, Choosing The Right Fan, and QA/QC For Radon Measurement.

Colorado’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Portal Includes Statewide Radon Data

By Margaret Henderson

Using a web-based tool, Colorado Environmental Public Health Tracking monitors the health and environment of the community over time, presenting health and environmental data, including radon levels statewide. Visit http://www.coepht.dphe.state.co.us/#

Colorado’s Tracking program is part of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, created in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make data on environmental hazards, human exposure to those hazards and health effects easier to find and use.

By incorporating radon data into the tracking portal, it is currently possible to view two summations:

  • Mean indoor radon values (pCi/L) by county
  • Percent of radon tests above 4 pCi/L by county

2nd Montana Radon Conference Provides CEUs and Stimulating Discussion about Radon Issues

by Margaret Henderson

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality Radon Control Program hosted its 2nd Montana Radon Conference, “Radon Education and Collaboration,” on March 18, 2016, in Helena, Montana.

The conference drew an audience of 35, present in person and by speaker phone. A varied agenda, featuring students, radon professionals, agency personnel and a representative of a radon health mine, provided for stimulating discussion and education about radon issues. The National Radon Proficiency Program approved the conference for an award of 4 CEUs for certified individuals.

Rhode Island Radon Program Supports Mission with Numerous Activities

by Margaret Henderson

State of Rhode Island Department of Health Radon Program’s mission is to protect Rhode Islanders from lung cancer due to radon exposure by ensuring that no homes, schools, or other high priority public buildings have unacceptable radon levels.

Two activities in support of that mission include:

  • managing and maintaining a comprehensive radon database of public/high priority and residential test results; and
  • implementing and enforcing the mandatory radon testing and mitigation requirements for public and high priority buildings.

Radon Database

Utah’s “Radon Awareness Social Media Toolkit” Provides Detailed Guidance Based on Success

by Margaret Henderson

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s publication “Radon Awareness Social Media Toolkit” (January 2016) explains the benefits of using social media and gives step-by-step guidance on establishing a radon awareness social media campaign.

Thirty percent of homes in Utah have radon levels higher than 4 pCi/L and the State Department of Environmental Quality Radon Project and the Huntsman Cancer Institute encourage testing all homes and mitigating high levels of radon.

The use of social media reaches large audiences and is believe to be an important tool in conveying information on radon. As noted in the toolkit, as of January 2014, Pew Research related that 23% of adults use Twitter and 71% of adults use Facebook. The Social Media Toolkit discusses using videos, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Community Case Study Cites Iowa’s Radon Approach as Valuable Guideline for Other States

by Margaret Henderson

“Successes and Challenges in Implementation of Radon Control Activities in Iowa, 2010-2015,” published April 14, 2016, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that other states could use the Iowa approach of using many stakeholders and entities to improve radon awareness and increase testing and mitigation.

Colorado Legislation Provides Radon Funding

Colorado HB 16-1141 was signed by Governor Hickenlooper on April 21, 2016. The bill, initated by the Radiation Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), provides for state funding of a radon education and awarness program at CDPHE and provides $100,000 for the Department to assist low income individuals with the installation of radon mitigation systems in their homes. Jennifer Opila, Colorado Radiation Program Manager, attended the bill signing and is pictured in the attached photo with the Governor, three of the bill sponsors; Senator Jahn and Representatives Becker and Coram and their staff.

For more information, contact:
Jennifer T. Opila, MPA
Radiation Program Manager

P 303-692-3403 | F 303-759-5355
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246-1530
jennifer.opila@state.co.us
http://www.colorado.gov/cdphe/radiation

New Jersey Offers Radon Alert Lesson Plans and Activities

by Margaret Henderson

In support of testing for radon in schools, the Radon Section of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) addresses the importance of educating parents, staff and students about radon. Through its website, lessons for students on radon are provided in the form of “Radon Alert Lesson Plans” that were developed by national experts for teachers to use in elementary, junior high and high school classes. See http://www.nj.gov/dep/rpp/llrw/teacher.htm.

The plans cover topics, such as, where radon is found, what the health effects of radon exposure are, how radon gets into a home and how a radon problem can be “fixed.”

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Uses Website to Communicate Radon Basics

By Margaret Henderson

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Radon Program notes that “due to budgetary reductions, the Department of Environmental Services does not have staff to respond to telephone calls or provide consultation and referral services for radon concerns.” Instead the department provides radon information through its website in a variety of ways which include:

  • state map with radon levels from 24,000 test results;
  • literature and links; and
  • FAQs in numerous langauges.

State Radon Map

Vermont Radon Program Includes a Variety of Activities

by Margaret Henderson

In Vermont, data from radon test results (1993-2012) indicated that much of the state has radon levels exceeding the 4pCi/L recommended action level set by EPA. One in eight homes in Vermont exceeds the action level and some sub-county areas have reported levels of between 15.8 and 32.6 pCi/L.

The Vermont Department of Health, Environmental Health Radon Program, performs a variety of activities and provides outreach and education in support of the goal of reducing indoor radon exposures.

The program:

  • Encourages testing for radon and mitigating as needed;
  • Educates the public about the health risks of radon exposure;
  • Measures radon in schools; and
  • Provides education about and encourage Radon Resistant New Construction.

Number of contacts the program receives varies, but generally people contact the program in order to:

  • Obtain a long term test kit for radon in air;