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Florida Radon Program Website Includes Facts for Medical Professionals

by Margaret Henderson

Through its website, the Radon Program in Florida has provided medical professionals with resources about radon and encourages physicians to inquire about radon levels in the homes of their patients. See http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radon/Outreach/Physicians.html

The website notes that “some health care professionals and organizations have begun to include questions about the radon level in patients' homes on standardized patient history forms.”

Several links are provided for physicians to review documents from organizations including:

  • Radon: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians;
  • National Cancer Institute - Radon and Cancer;
  • American Cancer Society - Radon Information;
  • Health Physics Society - Perspective on Radon; and

Utah Legislature Appropriates $150,000 for Radon Awareness Campaign

By Margaret Henderson

During the 2016 General Session, the Utah State Legislature appropriated a budget of $150,000 for the Radon Awareness Campaign for Fiscal Year 2017. According to the COBI 2016, published on the legislature’s website, “This is a 500 percent increase from Fiscal Year 2016 revised estimated amounts from all sources. The total includes $150,000 from the General/Education Funds, an increase of 500 percent from revised Fiscal Year 2016 estimates.” The appropriation is made to the Departments of Health and Environmental Quality. (COBI contains unaudited data as presented to the Legislature by state agencies at the time of publication.)

Eleanor Divver, the department’s Radon Coordinator commented on the appropriation saying “Yes, we received a $150,000 legislative funding for an educational campaign. The money goes through Utah Department of Health. The thought process was because they run many cancer awareness programs.”

North Carolina Website Has New Look and Updated Information

by Margaret Henderson

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Radiation Protection Section has a newly designed website, “Radon, a statewide concern, is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer.” http://www.ncradon.org/Home.html

The “Mitigation” tab provides videos on overview of mitigation practices, installation of systems in new homes and mitigation of homes with slab foundations. Although not required in North Carolina, the program recommends using a certified radon professional.

Financial assistance for mitigation is discussed in the tab for “Money.” The site gives information on the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and Self Help Credit Union. These were discussed in depth in the March 23, 2015, blog post North Carolina Finds Answers for a Problem: How to Pay for Radon Mitigations
http://www.radonleaders.org/node/21095

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