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Recommendation to Lower United Kingdom's Radon Reference Level


If you have been in one of MURC's radon classes in the past year, you have heard me mention that the UK was considering lowering their reference level (similar to what we have referred to as action level) by 50% to 100 Bq/m3 or about 2.7 pCi/L. Today, the recommendation of the independent expert Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation to the Health Protection Agency has been released with the lower reference level recommendation. It is my understanding that Germany has already set its reference level at 100 Bq/m3 and other countries are assessing reducing their levels as well.

In addition, the HPA Advisory Group recommended that radon control in new buildings be considered for most, if not all, of the UK.

US Radon Policy Needs to Change

Fellow radon practitioners,

I have responded to the call (below) to e-mail my congresspersons with a request to get active on radon. Over the past several months, I have been receiving e-mails from Healthy Homes which is garnering millions of dollars of grant monies for research and mitigation of indoor air quality issues. Radon is not among the issues they are addressing. These are state and county health officials; not some high-powered lobbyists. A neighboring town is looking for half a million dollars for a tennis court and basketball court in a flood plain as part of the stimulus package. Come on!!! We continue to let these financial opportunities slide by and then complain that the government doesn’t do anything about radon.

Minnesota's Radon-Resistant Homes Law

I was part of a joint state-academic-industry team that supported the legislative adoption of the statewide building code for radon control in all new homes in Minnesota. While this code requirement is unique in the U.S. (being statewide), it is far from perfect as illustrated in the news clip cited below and here is part of the reason why:

•The Minnesota code adopts Appendix F of the International Residential Code with modifications.
•Appendix F calls for passive soil depressurization which, if properly installed, reduces average radon entry by 50%.

Requiring RRNC in the International Residential Code

We are planning to submit a code change proposal - this weekend - to the International Code Council to amend the International Residential Code by elevating RRNC from its status as an optional appendix to a requirement, and by incorporating requirements from ASTM standard E1465a-07. Is anyone aware of a similar efffort?

Radon and Residential Real Estate: Working with the Real Estate Community

Radon and Residential Real Estate: Working with the Real Estate Community
Dr. Paul Locke is a radon leader who has over 20 years of experience in radon science, policy and law. He is particularly interested in how radon testing and remediation can be made part of residential real estate transactions. Dr. Locke is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

This is Part 3 in a five-part blog on radon and residential real estate. Read previous posts.

What are some effective ways to work with the real estate community?

An example of successful dialogue

This is the second post in a two-part blog on the Radon Stakeholder Dialogue. Read the first post: Reflections from the Radon Stakeholder Dialogue Facilitator.

When I first started working with the Radon community, one of the biggest concerns raised was the existence of two competing voluntary standards for radon mitigation. People feared consumer confusion, continuing competition between the two organizations who set the standards, and conflict for education programs and certification programs – who would have to choose which to teach and test – and regulated states – who might adopt one standard but work with professionals trained in the other. And even deeper challenges –poor relationships, ineffective communication, bad history, and lack of trust among parties – underlay the dispute.

Reflections from the Radon Stakeholder Dialogue Facilitator

As a relative outsider to the Radon community, I have been struck by how essential collaboration is to achieving the goals set by the Radon Leaders Saving Lives campaign, and how these goals in turn reflect the shared interests of the participating groups. No one group working on radon has the capacity to achieve it’s goals on it’s own, and all require and rely on the efforts of the others in order to meet the shared goals that each has come together to set. EPA’s mandate to
protect human health from the risks of radon gas, CRCPD’s aims to support State efforts to reduce radon exposure, and AARST’s mission to support a viable, skilled, and professional radon industry capable of providing measurement, mitigation, and information to the public – all

Prescription for: Radon A Medical Forum

May 7th, was the date of the recent Prescription for: Radon A Medical Forum. This event was held in Oak Brook at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus. The name says it all, this was a chance to share the radon message with the medical community and radon partners. The crowd of just shy of 100 included a variety of attendees from doctors, respiratory therapists, health educators, non-profit groups and leaders in the radon industry, Speakers were experts in their field. Tracy Enger of USEPA served as the moderator and brought life and excitement to the workshop. With a panel of experts that included Rick Guimond, PE, Susan Conrath PhD,MPH, Michael Stutz M.D., William Angell, Barbara Sorgatz and Paul Locke,JD, PhD the audience received details about radon history, the foundation of radon, a personal radon story, and how to communicate radon risk to patients and where to get the resources needed to share these resources.

20th National Radon Training Conference

A contract has been signed for the 20th National Radon Training Conference. It will be held in Columbus, Ohio, October 17-20, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency, Convention Center. Please note the month change from September to October.

There is not any additional infromation on the website yet. Should you want to view the radon page go to: http://www.crcpd.org/Radon.aspx

After the MW AARST conference...

After attending the Friday morning session of the MW AARST conference, I traveled to Champaign-Urbana for the State Science Fair. I discovered a radon project completed by a 7th grade student from Belleville, IL. His sixth grade teacher had died of lung cancer, was a non-smoker and her house was found to have elevated radon levels. The young man responded to this situation by testing a number of homes in St. Claire county around Belleville and he successfully presented the results. I encouraged him to continue his efforts, to consider incorporating some long-term tests, and to apply for a mini-grant from the Midwest Chapter of AARST! Several of you on this email list were acknowleged for helping with the project including Patrick Daniels and Cindy Ladage! Kudos!