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Minnesota Radon Program Offers Guidance on Radon in Schools

by Margaret Henderson

In Minnesota a Radon Testing Plan requires school districts that receive health and safety revenue to conduct radon testing based on Minnesota statutes. Indoor Air Quality Management guidelines include radon issues. The Minnesota Department of Health, Indoor Environments and Radiation Section, list elements of the radon plan that include information on when and how to test, results and mitigation and reporting. Instructions are to:

· Conduct testing on school days only (not holidays, vacations or weekends), between November 1 and March 31 (short term testing method)

· Conduct testing in a manner where at least half the test duration includes days between November 1 and March 31 (long term testing method)

· Test using certified radon testing devices (per the National Radon Proficiency Program or National Radon Safety Board)

Annual NYSDOH Radon Stakeholder Meeting in Johnson City, NY on November 9, 2017

Please join us for the 2017 Annual NYSDOH Radon Stakeholder meeting to be held at the Traditions in Johnson City, NY on November 9, 2017.

The keynote address, The Radiobiology of Radon, will be presented by Guy Garty, Ph.D., Columbia University.

The American Association of Radiation Scientists and Technologists (AARST) will hold training days on Tuesday, November 7th and Wednesday, November 8th at the same location.

This annual meeting, a State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) deliverable item, is designed for all that have a stake in protecting the public from unnecessary exposure to radon in their homes and schools. Topics of discussion are issues of common interest to the stakeholders. Our meeting goals are:

  • to provide updates to our county partners;
  • to provide information about our program and projects to other various stakeholders in attendance;
  • to educate; and
  • to network.

Rhode Island Requires Testing for Public and High Priority Buildings

by Margaret Henderson

Rhode Island requires testing for radon in all public and high priority buildings as specified in the radon control rules of the state. High priority buildings include schools (public, private, parochial grades K-12) and/or child care facilities. Public buildings are those occupied by or owned, managed or leased by a state or municipal entity. See http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DOH/7679.pdf, Section 28 for radon requirements.

Connecticut Statues Regarding Radon in Schools

by Margaret Henderson

Radon in schools is addressed in Connecticut statutes and the Department of Public Health provides guidelines and technical information to the public regarding these requirements. Levels in excess of 4pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level, have been reported in some Connecticut classrooms.

Ohio Provides Checklist for Testing Schools

by Margaret Henderson

The Ohio Department of Health, Radon Licensing Program, provides an on-line School Radon Testing Checklist, instructing on how to properly test for radon in schools. The department recommends testing all schools.

The initial approaches discusses coordinating with school administrators and communicating with students, staff and parents about the protocols. The value of pre-testing communication is believed to lessen post-testing concerns about results.

Notice of Intent To Establish Voluntary Criteria for Radon Credentialing Organizations

Notice of Intent To Establish Voluntary Criteria for Radon Credentialing Organizations
A notice of availability was published Wednesday, August, 23, 2017, in the Federal Register seeking public feedback on a proposed approach for developing voluntary criteria for organizations that credential radon service providers. The comment period for this action is open for 60 days and closes on October 23, 2017. Currently, states receiving indoor radon grants from EPA may only list providers credentialed by one or both of two recognized credentialing bodies or their state-run certification program. These criteria will establish an ongoing and open evaluation process for organizations wanting to credential radon service providers and will help states ensure high-quality radon services are available to their citizens. To access the notice, visit: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA_FRDOC_0001-21169

Alaska Offers Specific Guidance about Radon Issues

by Margaret Henderson

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services provides radon information and assistance through the University of Alaska Fairbanks Extension Service.

As determined through testing projects over a 24-year period, conducted by the University of Alaska Fairbank (supported by the USEPA), 3200 test results have been collected and 21% exceeded the USEPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L.

The radon program activities provide outreach and education to assist residents in learning about radon, testing and mitigation. Educational opportunities include a DVD that maybe ordered on-line and a publication on radon that may be downloaded.

Pennsylvania Uses YouTube Videos to Explain About Radon

by Margaret Henderson

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Radon Division provides expert information to the public about radon. Funding is provided through a joint state and USEPA grant. The DEP notes that an estimated 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the USEPA’s action guideline of 4 pCi/L.

The DEP provides outreach through courses, staffing information booths at events, and visiting school events and home shows. Additionally, social media is used to inform and raise awareness about radon.

In using social media as one approach to inform residents about radon, YouTube videos have been placed on-line. Program Manager, Bob Lewis, explains how to test your home for radon in a YouTube video, which has received 2111 views. See “How to Test Your Home for Radon” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26AEo271aXI

Oregon Radon Mitigation Code for New Construction In Place in Several Counties

by Margaret Henderson

In Oregon, approximately 276 radon-related lung cancer deaths happen each year, according to the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Radon Awareness Program. The program provides risk-level mapping and test results by zip code and recommends testing to determine actual levels in each residence and mitigation of radon levels in excess of 4pCi/L, the USEPA recommended action level.

Some Oregon counties have adopted radon mitigation code requirements for new construction. Oregon Residential Specialty Code provides information and guidance (Appendix F: Radon Control Methods).
http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/HEALTHYNEIGHBORHOODS/RADONGAS/Documents/Appendix%20F_Radon%20Control%20Methods.pdf. Counties that have requirements in place are:

  • Baker;
  • Clackamas;

Utah Department of Environmental Quality Reports Radon Data

by Margaret Henderson

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) provides radon data to the public through its website in two ways.

A table available on the DEQ website presents data for 52,517 short term radon tests (statewide total) as categorized by county and by zip code within each county (data through March 2017).

The maximum reported result was in Beaver County (664pCi/L), with 180 results of 406 tests exceeding 20 pCi/L, the recommended EPA action level. Statewide, only 3% of the total testing results in levels exceeding 20 pCi/L. Statewide, 63% of the tests reported results less than 4 pCi/L. Statewide 37% of the results exceeded 4 pCi/L.