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Nevada Radon Poster Contest Winner Also Wins First Place Nationally

by Margaret Henderson

The “Element of Surprise,” a poster created by a Carson City, Nevada, middle school student, won statewide first place and went on to be a first place winner in the national contest as well.

The Nevada Radon Program, operated through the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Radon Education Program, educates the public on dangers of radon and encourages testing. As part of its promotion, an annual poster contest is held for students in Nevada, with winning entries going forward to the national contest. The state award for first place is $75.00. For the 2018 contest, there were 131 entries. The poster entries were to convey:
• What is radon?
• Where does radon come from?
• How does radon get into our homes?
• Radon can cause lung cancer.
• Test your home for radon.

Connecticut Promoted National Radon Action Month with Partners

by Margaret Henderson

The Connecticut Department of Health Radon Program (CT DPH) promoted National Radon Action Month through partnerships with other entities and health organizations. See the “2018 Local Health - Radon Program Partnership” map on the link from page http://www.portal.ct.gov/DPH/Environmental-Health/Radon/Radon-Program. These promotions were in keeping with the CT DPH Radon Program’s mission to promote radon awareness, testing, mitigation, and radon-resistant new construction throughout the state in order to reduce the number of radon-induced lung cancer deaths in Connecticut. In Connecticut, approximately 30% of the 25,000 homes tested have radon levels in excess of 4 pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level.

Several of the partners published promotional information on their websites and in the news. A listing of some of these follows:

Kansas Governor’s Proclamation Starts National Radon Action Month

by Margaret Henderson

National Radon Action Month in Kansan began with a proclamation from the governor and an accompanying news release. https://khap2.kdhe.state.ks.us/NewsRelease/PDFs/01.02.2018%20January%20is%20Radon%20Action%20Month.pdf

The news release notes that “The Kansas Radon Program is currently involved in partnerships with Kansas State University, the Kansas Cancer Partnership, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Environmental Public Health Tracking program to educate Kansas citizens about the dangerous health effects from radon and how to protect themselves.”

Data from 2014 summarizes the test results and exposure potentials in Kansas:

  • Average Radon Level = 5.1 pCi/L
  • Maximum Reported Radon Level = 1,121.6
  • Total Number of Measurements = 73,959

Vermont Provides Radon Contribution Calculator

by Margaret Henderson

One in eight Vermont homes has levels of radon in excess of the 4pCi/L USEPA recommended action level. The average level in homes is 2.5 pCi/L.

In addition to presenting information on radon in air, the Vermont Department of Health provides information on radon in water because the contribution to indoor air can occur when taking showers, or running the dishwasher or washing machine.

To illustrate how radon in water may contribute to radon exposure, the department provides a “Radon Contribution Calculator.” This spreadsheet calculator allows the user to enter the test results for radon concentration in air and radon concentration in water. The calculator then presents:
• Contribution of radon in water to radon in air
• Outdoor radon concentration
• Contribution of soil gas to radon in air

Testing for Radon in Schools in Vermont

by Margaret Henderson

The Vermont Department of Health Radon Program encourages testing schools for radon. Since 2005, approximately 14% of the schools that have done radon testing have had concentrations in excess of 4pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level. Some of the schools have had as much as five times the action level. Variables unique to each school include the concentration of radon in soil and soil permeability, the type of construction of the building, and the heating and air-conditioning systems (type, operation and maintenance). Because of the impact of these variables, the department recommends testing all schools and offers free school testing.

2018 Missouri Radon Poster Contest Winners

by Margaret Henderson

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services provides radon information to encourage testing for radon. Based on and air quality database (2005-2012), the department has reported that 48 counties have average radon levels in excess of 4pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level. The department encourages testing by providing information and a poster contest. For instance, the department provides risk charts http://health.mo.gov/living/environment/radon/riskcharts.php to inform the public about the hazards of radon exposure.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Announces Radon Action Month

by Margaret Henderson

In Wisconsin, approximately one out of ten homes has high levels of radon, exceeding the 4 pCi/L USEPA recommended action level. As part of the department’s public outreach and education program about radon, the department has announced Radon Action Month on its website.

The department’s interactive map of radon test results by county provides data and visual information about the prevalence of high radon levels in Wisconsin. http://wi-dhs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=68f3a3e068854810b626d002ce47aff4

Colorado’s Low Income Radon Mitigation Assistance Program

The Colorado statutes authorize the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to use designated funds for providing low income assistance for radon mitigations in support of providing safe living environments.

In its Policy and Procedure Manual for Low Income Radon Mitigation Assistance (LIRMA), contractor and homeowner eligibility specifications are defined, along with program restrictions:

  1. Funding assistance not to exceed $1,500.00 for installation of radon mitigation system and postmitigation testing. Costs exceeding $1,500.00 must be approved by the LIRMA Program.
  2. A person may not apply for assistance more than one time in a calendar year.
  3. Rental units and/or properties listed for sale are NOT eligible for this program.
  4. Homes with mitigation systems currently installed are NOT eligible for mitigation assistance funding or reimbursement under this program.

Oregon Updates Radon Risk Map

by Margaret Henderson

The Oregon Health Authority Radon Awareness Program has updated its Radon Risk Map, effective January 2018. The Program uses the interactive map to inform the public of potential hazards of radon. Encouraging testing, mitigation and radon resistance new construction are other missions of the Program. According to the Authority, there are approximately 276 radon-related lung cancer deaths each year in Oregon.

Mississippi Radon Program Offered Free Test Kits for National Radon Action Month

by Margaret Henderson

The Mississippi State Department of Health’s Indoor Radon Program (MSDH) offered free radon test kits during January 2018 to promote radon action month. In Mississippi less than 3% of the homes have radon levels in excess of the USEPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L, but the Program notes that homes in northeast Mississippi are at higher risk of radon. During January, MSDH provided free kits to test any home for radon.

Some examples of news coverage promoting the free test kit initiative include:

Mississippi giving away radon test kits this month
The Clarion-Ledger
January 13, 2018
https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2018/01/13/mississippi-giving-away-radon-test-kits/1031805001/

Mississippi State Dept. of Health offering free radon test kits
January 11, 2018