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EPA Study: 2.2M live in areas where air poses cancer risk

A point which needs to be made again and again.... Take a look at the language on the county-by-county cancer risk map. "Environmental regulators generally consider an excess of 100 cancers per 1 million unacceptably high (that's 1 in 10,000 for those that don't want to do the math). So why is radon @ 7 per 1,000 the continuously unregulated/ignored contaminant? (A redundant question, but none-the-less frustrating!). A good point to make in presentations, etc. Just my thoughts.... Chrys

From USA TODAY By Brad Heath and Blake Morrison

The government's latest snapshot of air pollution across the nation shows residents of New York, Oregon and California faced the highest risk of developing cancer from breathing toxic chemicals.

Attention Mitigators: World Radon Solutions

Good Day Radon Colleagues,

Georges-Andrea Rosens, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, has announced creation of an international data base on radon mitigation and he is seeking submission of some of the best examples of radon mitigation. Georges is building a continuation of a data base started by EU radon colleagues including Chris Scivyer with the UK's Building Research Establishment. Both Georges and Chris are members of the Prevention and Mitigation Working Group of WHO's International Radon Project.

Please go to www.WorldRadonSolutions.info and use the input form to submit your best radon mitigation mitigation work.


Annoucing CRCPD's 19th National Radon Training Conference

CRCPD is pleased to announce the 19th National Radon Training Conference, September 20 – 23, 2009 in St. Louis, Mo.

As we have already had inquires, CRCPD has placed a hardcopy registration form and hotel information on our website.

We will post additional details about the meeting as they become available. Please share this information with anyone you think would be interested in attending!

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing everyone in St. Louis!

Sue Smith
Executive Office Manager
502/227-4543, Ext. 2228
502/227-7862, Fax

2009 International Radon Symposium Abstracts

Dr. James Burkhart, AARST’s Symposium Proceedings Editor, is pleased to announce that twelve Abstracts have been accepted and are being scheduled for presentation at the 2009 International Radon Symposium in St Louis, MO, September 20-23, 2009, subject to peer-review of the full papers by the AARST Technical and Science Committee.

The AARST Symposium Program Committee will consider the acceptance of late abstract submissions up until June 17, 2009 if they meet the following criteria:

Your abstract should convey in 150 words or less the essence of the intended paper, clearly indicating the contribution it will make to radon risk reduction or field practice. Abstracts will be screened by the Symposium Program Committee.

Original research, including policy and business-related papers, are especially encouraged in the following areas:

  • Cost-effectiveness of radon policy and program options

HUD Plans to Promote Radon Testing and Risk Reduction

HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC) has published: "Leading Our Nation to Healthy Homes: The Healthy Homes Strategic Plan." One of the plan’s four goals is to promote the incorporation of healthy homes principles through ongoing practices and programs. Under this goal, HUD has adopted two strategies for reducing the risk of exposure to radon in federally assisted housing and mortgage programs:

Short Term Strategy - Promoting the Use of Healthy Homes Principles in Issue Areas Where There is a Critical Public Health Need: The Office will initiate collaboration with HUD program offices that oversee housing assistance and mortgage programs, and with EPA coordination, promote testing for radon and sub‐slab depressurization systems in properties with high levels of radon.

Long Term Strategy - Continuing to Facilitate the Adoption of Healthy Homes Practices by Existing Housing and Mortgage Programs: The Healthy Homes program will continue to work with HUD program offices that administer HUD‐assisted housing in an effort to incorporate healthy homes practices. Practices to emphasize will include: adoption of IPM practices; creation of smoke‐free housing developments; adoption of specifications for “moisture resistance” by publicly funded housing rehabilitation programs; and radon risk reduction where radon levels are high.

Surgeon General Calls for Action on Radon and a Few other Health Risks!

The who's who of healthy homes gathered this morning to applaud release of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes (CTA). Radon is prominent throughout the CTA, including substantial sections on risk and mitigation. Access the CTA via http://www.surgeongeneral.gov.

Actions recommended on radon include:
(1) testing;
(2) radon mitigation and radon-resistant construction in new homes in the Midwest and East; and
(3) contacting your local or state health department for assistance.

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?