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Radon Awareness and Household Testing: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Chrystine Kelley, Environmental Protection Specialist, Radon Coordinator, Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division

Eric Brown, Environmental Data Coordinator, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

During calendar year 2009, a series of questions was added to the Colorado Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to determine residents’ awareness and response to the presence of radon gas in household air. The survey participants were asked if they knew what radon was and if their household air had been tested for it. If the house had been tested for radon the survey further asked if the test result was above the remediation action limit of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and what their response to a high radon test result was. The 4 pCi/L action limit was set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA recommends that at, or above, this level a radon mitigation system be installed.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division provides support to residents, counties and local public health departments for radon awareness outreach and testing. The results of the BRFSS survey provided insight to where the programs were most effective and, where they may require additional resources.

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