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South Carolina Adds a New Brochure on Radon to Publications

by Margaret Henderson

Does Your Home Have a Radon Problem? is a new brochure by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SDHEC) explains that in South Carolina, radon can be a problem.
https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/CR-006953.pdf. A chart of lung cancer risk and radon levels is presented along with the Surgeon General’s warning. Risks, facts and what to do about radon are discussed.

In South Carolina, some radon levels found through testing have been as high as 126 pCi/L. The recommended action level by the USEPA is 4 pCi/L. Test data, as of March 2018, gives average in radon concentrations in homes that have been tested by county, with number of tests, average result and highest level.

Michigan Outreach Includes Information for Health Care Providers to Distribute

by Margaret Henderson

The State Indoor Radon Program, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, increases awareness of radon health risks through outreach and sharing of information. Its goal is to encourage testing and mitigation if levels found through testing are elevated.

Throughout the years, test results collected revealed that Michigan residents may be exposed to radon at levels that should be mitigated, above the 4 pCi/L USEPA recommended action level. In some counties, as many as 40-45% of the homes are anticipated to have elevated radon and statewide, approximately one in eight homes would be expected to have high levels.

Health data ranks Michigan above the national average of 58.3 per 100,000 people for lung and bronchus cancer incidence. The Michigan average is 63.4 per 100,000. With this incidence of lung disease, targeting the medical profession and enlisting their aid to address radon exposure was determined to be an appropriate outreach mechanism.

New York Wadsworth Center Laboratory Provides Radon Outreach

by Margaret Henderson

New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center’s mission is “Science in the Pursuit of Health,” serving as the state’s public health laboratory. The lab conducts analyses, research, investigations and educational outreach. In its radon outreach, through the New York State Department of Health Radon Monitoring Program, the lab provides data mapping and resources for the public.

Using data from 1986 and 2007 of more than 45,000 basement screening measurements and more than 11,000 long-term living area measurements, the lab has compiled maps on the percentages of residences with respect to radon levels. This data came from the detector distribution program of New York State Department of Health. The lab notes “Because this type of data does not significantly change over time, it is still valuable today.” The information is provided to give reference information and encourage testing and mitigation.

CRCPD Supports the Development of an International Technical Document on Radon

Reprinted with permission from CRCPD Newsbrief, August 2018

Joshua Kerber, a leading U.S. expert in radon remediation and prevention, from the Minnesota
Department of Health, participated with Friderik Knez from the Department of Building Physics in the
Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute and Tony Löfqvist from Mark- och Miljö

Idaho Radon Levels Presented in Mapping Program Reaching Thousands of Viewers

by Margaret Henderson

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare presents radon date in a mapping program that allows users to examine radon data. The map, created December 2016, was last update July 2018, and has had 24,748 views.

The map, divided by county lines, indicated percent of high radon levels based on test results. Information presented includes:
• Zip code
• County
• Number of tests
• Number of tests high (greater than 3.9 pCi/L)

For instance in Ada County, 300 test results were collected and 12% exceeded the 3.9 pCi/L level.

Much of state is included in the Zone 1 designation by USEPA, having the highest potential for excessive radon (greater than 4 pCi/L). Fifteen counties are included in this zone, covering much of the state’s area.

Florida Radon Data for Foster Care Facilities Online

by Margaret Henderson

Mandatory testing for radon concentrations in foster care homes is required by Florida statues. The intent of the requirements is to provide the best available information to the guardians and decision makers of the clients of the foster care homes so that they may decide upon the health and care of those clients with respect to radon exposure. One in five residential homes (all types of homes, not just foster homes) in Florida has an elevated radon level. See http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/radon/_documents/fl-radon-map.pdf

Alabama Radon Activity Book and Alabama Public Health Provide Information about Radon

by Margaret Henderson

In Alabama, 15 counties are categorized as Zone 1, High Potential, where radon levels are anticipated to exceed the 4pCi/L recommended action level of the USEPA.
Alabama Public Health Radon Program provides information about ordering test kits https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/radon/index.html and other basics about radon mitigation.

The Alabama Radon Activity Book provides additional information in an easy to read, illustrated format. The booklet, published by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), with technical review provided by the Alabama Public Health Department, has eight pages that highlight:
• what radon is;
• how it gets in your house;
• how radon damages lung tissue; and
• testing and mitigation specifics.

North Carolina Encourages Radon Resistant New Construction

by Margaret Henderson

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Radon Program provides information to builders and developers in support of radon resistant new construction (RRNC). Test results for much of the state indicate radon levels exceeding the recommended EPA action level of 4 pCi/L. Therefore the potential exists for newly constructed homes to have excessive radon. Outreach to developers and builders is aimed at reducing the number of new homes that have high radon concentrations.

Ways in which this support to developers is provided include:

  • Facilitating training for developers;
  • Listing the certified testers and mitigators in North Carolina; and
  • Encouraging use of radon resistant new construction by providing additional information about advantages of using RRNC, how radon enters homes and details on the five elements of a passive system for radon removal.

Florida Medical Guidance Includes Comparison of Radiation Dose from Radon

by Margaret Henderson

Save More Lives: Prevent Radon-Induced Lung Cancer, a brochure published by the Radon Program of Florida Health Radon Program, is designed for medical personnel. One in five homes tested in Florida has elevated radon levels, in excess of the 4 pCi/L recommended by USEPA as an action level.

Why patients need to know about radon and how can a provider can help patients are some questions answered in the brochure. Additionally, it explains radon health effects and how radon is measured.

Comparisons of radiation exposure, Average Annual Radiation Dose per Person at 1.4 pCi/L (Picocurie per Liter), is given in a chart. For radon, the percentage is 37. The contribution from radon is compared to medical exposures, such as:

* Computed Tomography - 24%;

* Nuclear Medicine - 12%;

* Interventional Fluoroscopy - 7%; and

* Conventional Radiology - 5%.

The brochure makes two suggestions for medical professionals:

Announcing the New York Radon Stakeholder Fall Meeting

Please join us for the 2018 Annual New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Radon Stakeholder meeting to be held at the Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City, NY on October 25, 2018.

The keynote address, Avoiding Lung Cancer: Improving the Air We Breathe, will be presented by Ronald Hublall, MD, Guthrie Medical Center.

The American Association of Radiation Scientists and Technologists (AARST) will hold training days on Tuesday, October 23rd and Wednesday, October 24th at the same location prior to the meeting.

This annual meeting, a State Indoor Radon Grant (SIRG) deliverable item, is designed for all who 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;