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To educate builders and raise public awareness about radon-resistant new construction (RRNC), the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Radiation Control (DRC) teamed up with the Habitat for Humanity of Utah County (Habitat) during National Radon Action Month (NRAM). DRC partnered with Habitat – a nonprofit, housing organization that provides affordable housing for people in need – to promote healthier homes.
“Consumers are becoming more aware that radon is a health risk, and building a new home with radon-resistant features can help to reduce elevated levels,” Radon Program Coordinator Christine Keyser said. “In addition, installing radon-resistant features at the time of construction is easier and cheaper than fixing a radon problem later. According to DRC’s radon measurement data, one in every three homes in Utah will have elevated levels of radon.“
In preparation for NRAM, DRC and Habitat offered a continuing education core class on RRNC training. In September 2010, Habitat builders and other Utah home builders joined together at the Utah County Health Department to learn how to build radon-resistant homes. Following the training, Habitat unveiled its first-ever radon-resistant home in Utah County. Miss Utah Christina Lowe offered her support as crews finish framing the 1,500-square foot house, which was being built for a low-income family of six.
To continue this momentum throughout the month of January, Habitat educated the general public about radon gas and promoted the importance of radon testing. Habitat sold radon test kits in its ReStore in Orem, Utah – amounting to 38 radon test kits sold during the first week of January alone. DRC was also able to secure a Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) grant to provide certification training to more Habitat and Utah builders. Habitat has committed to continue providing radon education and testing, and to building more radon-resistant Habitat homes in the future.
As a culminating activity, the Utah Radiation Control Board touted radon shirts in recognition of the National Radon Awareness Month. They paid special tribute to the Utah County Health Department for its coordinating efforts with Habitat home builders and DRC.