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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;

North Dakota Uses Series of Videos to Focus on Radon Reduction Techniques

by Margaret Henderson

In North Dakota, all of the state has been classified as Zone One, the EPA designation for areas in which it is anticipated that radon levels will exceed 4pCi/L, the recommended action level. Of the homes tested in an initial survey of approximately 1600 homes, 63% of the homes had radon levels in excess of 4 pCi/L. The mean value was 7.0 pCi/L. The North Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources recommends testing all homes. Through its website and a series of helpful videos, the department focuses on radon reduction techniques. The videos provide overview and in depth education about radon and mitigation.

The video series includes these selections:

  • Beginning with a three-minute video on “Understanding Radon Mitigation,” basic information is provided along with encouragement that “radon is fixable.”

Delaware Website Provides Visual Aids and Guidance Documents to Assist Public with Radon Awareness

by Margaret Henderson

Delaware Division of Public Health Radon Office website provides two guidance documents and visual aids for residents to help them understand radon risks and be aware of the potential for radon exposure within the state.

On the website, an 18 page slideshow discusses “Radon: The Health Risks and Solutions.”
http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/files/radonpres.pdf
The colorful show depicts how radon gets into a home and how radon causes lung cancer. It also compares annual death from various causes with deaths attributed to radon and discusses testing, measurements and mitigation.

A map and report presents Delaware Radon Incidence by Zip Code. http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/files/hhinsideradonzip.pdf

Bilingual Materials on Radon

Radon Action Month is over…but let’s continue the conversation!, posted by Ines Beltran and Edda Cotto-Rivera in English and Spanish on Bilingual Opinions, January 30, 2016. (https://bilingualopinions.wordpress.com/2016/01/)

Help us to inform more people about Radon posted by Edda Cotto-Rivera and Ines Beltran in English and Spanish on Bilingual Opinions, January 21, 2016.

Kansas Radon Measurement and Mitigation Trends Show Progress Over Five Year Period

by Margaret Henderson

The Kansas Radon Program has recently published information about Kansas radon measurement and mitigation trends in its January 2016 newsletter. Trends show that from July 2010 to June 2015, there has been an increase in overall testing. Additionally, an increasing percentage of the tests are being performed by certified contractors.

The newletter discusses performance during 2014 and 2015 specifically. For 2015,
total reported radon tests (period July 2014-June 2015) were 18,722. For the same period, total mitigations reported numbered 3924, or roughly 11%. However, only about 32% of homes were tested during the sale, leaving 68% of homes sold without radon testing.

Michigan, Colorado, Virginia and Georgia Governors Proclaim Radon Action Month and Encourage Testing

by Margaret Henderson

Governors of several states began National Radon Action Month with proclamations and referred citizens to the respective state programs for more information. Each gave an indication of the potential radon concentrations in their states and the importance of testing and mitigating. The state programs use a variety of methods to communicate with the public, based on their strategic approaches.

Michigan
Radon Action Month in Michigan began with a proclamation from the governor, stating that elevated radon levels can be found in every Michigan county and that in some counties, more than 50 percent of the homes tested had elevated levels and that 27 percent of all results of radon tests conducted statewide exceeded the EPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/2013_Radon_Proc-portrait_size_408782_7.pdf

Utah Advances Public Health Education Efforts Regarding Radon

By Margaret Henderson

In Utah, surveys conducted by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control indicate that 30% of the homes tested in Utah are at concentrations above the EPA’s recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Short term test results as of January 2013, by zip code and county, are provided on the department’s website at http://www.radon.utah.gov/docs/2013/03Mar/RadonShortTerm2013version3.pdf

With potential exposures above 4 pCi/L throughout much of the state, informing the public of the need to test and mitigate is a significant goal. To accomplish this goal, the department and coalitions have worked to inform the legislature of the need for public health education funding.

Nevada Radon Program Provided Free Kits at Field Day Event

In September of 2015, the Nevada Radon Education Program held a booth at the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station’s Field Day to hand out radon test kits and educate the public about the radon health risk, how to test and how to fix a home with a radon problem.

Field Day is an annual collaboration among University of Nevada’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension. The public learned about each organization’s programs via exhibits, demonstrations, food and fun.

The event brought in more than 500 attendees, where 132 of those individuals visited the Radon Education booth. About 57 radon test were distributed.

For more information about the Radon Program in Nevada, contact:

Susan Howe, Program Director
Nevada Radon Education Program
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
4955 Energy Way
Reno, Nevada 89502
Telephone: 888-RADON10 (888-723-6610)