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California Releases New Publication and Map on Radon Potential in Western Tulare County

by Margaret Henderson

California Department of Public Health (CDPH), working with the California Geological Survey (CGS), produces Radon Potential Maps of the state. Mapping is designed to provide public information, (although maps may not be used to determine a specific area or house which may have elevated radon the department cautions). State and local governments benefit from the mapping in guiding them to devote resources and activities toward areas with potential problems.

A recently available report and may, the Special Report 238 - Radon Potential in Western Tulare County, California, by By Ronald K. Churchill, Ph.D., is available at http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/minerals/hazardous_minerals/radon

The study conducted by the CDPH, gathered results from 498 home owners who participated in the survey. Free detectors, instructions and measurements were provided. Results were evaluated based on radon concentrations per zip code, floor, room and geological unit. Geologic evaluations identified geological unit radon potentials for the county. Using US Census Bureau information, Radon Potential Zones for the Estimated Total Populations were developed. Breakouts were designated at intervals of 4, 10 and 20 pCi/L concentrations. The report contains extensive data and mapping from which the recommendations are developed as given in the report:

  • Indoor-radon testing should be encouraged in western Tulare County, particularly in the high radon potential zone areas.
  • Additional indoor radon measurements within unknown radon potential zone areas should also be encouraged.
  • Although not mapped for radon potential in this study because of limited and sparsely distributed data and population, indoor-radon testing should be encouraged in the Sierra Nevada. The cooler climate, more severe weather and areas with elevated background uranium concentrations in rocks, soil and sediment are all things in the Sierra Nevada that increase the odds for elevated indoor-radon levels in buildings.
  • Those considering new home construction, particularly at sites within high radon potential areas, may wish to consider radon resistant new construction practices.
  • Post construction radon mitigation is possible, if necessary, but will be more expensive than the cost of adding radon-reducing features during house construction.

For more information:
Report: ftp://ftp.consrv.ca.gov/pub/dmg/pubs/sr/sr_238/TulareCounty_Rn_SPECIAL_REPORT_238.pdf
Indoor Radon Program: https://archive.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/environhealth/Pages/Radon.aspx
Phone: (916) 449-5674
Fax: (916) 449-5665
Email: Radonprogram@cdph.ca.gov