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Iowa Provides Radon Basics in Slide Format

by Margaret Henderson

The Iowa Department of Public Health Radon Program has provided a slide presentation on “Radon Basics” that explains important basics about radon and the health effects of exposure to radon.

Iowa has 71.6% of homes above the recommended USEPA action level of 4 pCi/L based on the Iowa Radon Survey. Because at least 50% of the homes are above the 4pCi/L level, USEPA has designated the state as being entirely in the Zone 1 classification, where levels are anticipated to exceed the action level. With such a prevalence of elevated radon in Iowa homes, providing public information and education is a critical need.

The slide presentation on the Iowa Department of Public Health website gives key information about radon. Radon is presented in terms of why elements are radioactive, radiation types, U-238 decay chain, and characteristics of radon. Health effects are explained regarding radiation biology and the non-linear threshold concept. Sources of radiation exposure from National Council on Radiation Protection Report 160 are shown with radon and thoron (background) as contributing 37%. The loss of life expectancy in days related to being exposed to radon in the home is 35. A diagram shows how radon enters the home. The slide presentation concludes noting the only way to know the concentration is to test—and by reducing concentration, risk is reduced.

For more information about radon in Iowa, contact:

Iowa Contact Information:
Program Oversight - Angela Leek, 515-281-3478
Professional Licensing, Education/Outreach - Randy Lane, 515-281-4928