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Iowa Department of Public Health Provides Variety of Information

by Margaret Henderson

The Iowa Department of Public Health http://idph.iowa.gov/radonc provides information and assistance through its radon program and also contracts with the American Lung Association to maintain the Health House website http://www.healthhouse.org/radon/ia.cfm, and staff Iowa's Radon Hotline at 1-800-383-5992.

The entire state of Iowa is categorized as Zone 1 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), which indicates a potential for elevated radon levels exceeding the 4 pCi/L recommended USEPA action guideline. The Iowa Department of Public Health estimates that as many as 5 in 7 homes across Iowa have elevated radon levels, with an average concentration of 8.5pCi/L statewide. The department estimates that “400 deaths per year in Iowa are caused by radon-induced lung cancer, about the same number of annual deaths seen in Iowa for traffic fatalities.”

To assist the public in understanding the need to test for and fix excess radon levels, the department provides listings of certified laboratories and measurement and mitigations specialists, a Ten-Step Radon Action Plan for Iowa residents, radon testing data from 2010 to 2014, and other reference materials. Through the Health House website, a Radon Activity Book is available, along with other useful references and information.

For more information about radon in Iowa, contact Angela Leek, 515-281-3478, for program oversight.