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Radon in the News

Funding Opportunity - CRCPD Radon Mini-Grant Program Announcement & Application

CRCPD is reviving its mini-grant project, offering funds to local partners designated by the state radon program to receive from $500 to $5,000 dollars to conduct a radon project. The application process includes a brief proposal and short application form, which are due on October 7, 2011. The announcement and application package with all the details was emailed to State Radon Program Contacts on August 16, 2011. A completed report on the project outcome and expenditures is a requirement at the project's completion. Checks are awarded directly to the partner applicant.

Utah Youths Could Win Cash in Radon Poster Contest

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah children have a chance to boost awareness about the dangers of indoor radon by entering a poster contest coordinate by the state of Utah in partnership with Kansas State University and the EPA.

Children ages 9 to 14 are eligible, with the entry deadline set for Oct. 15. State and national winners will receive cash rewards. All those who enter at the state level will be entered in the national competition, but entries are limited to one per child.

Poster topics must include one of the following themes: what is radon; where it comes from; how it gets inside homes, the fact that it causes cancer, or that homes can be tested.

Last year, poster contest winners were: Marissa Funke, first, South Hills Middle School, Riverton; Jessica Edmondson, second, Taylor Elementary School, Payson; and Alisha Kirkland, third, Provost Elementary, Provo.

Ga. Resident Fears High Levels of Radon and Uranium in Well May Be Causing Health Problems

Watch this news segment.

Three years ago, Donna Welch started having health problems. That's when she tested her well water for lead, mercury, and arsenic. She didn't tested for uranium. The thought never crossed her mind until recently, when other Monroe County residents found high levels in their wells.

"You used to enjoy a long hot shower, but now you're thinking 'oh my gosh' I'm breathing in all this stuff," says Welch.

She's referring to the natural gas radon. It's in her air, it's in her water, and it's coming from the high levels of uranium also present in her drinking water.

"The UGA water lab called me and told us that the uranium level in our well was the second highest in the state of Georgia," says Welch.

Poolesville, Md. to Install Systems to Remove Radon, Uranium from Well Water

Poolesville, Md. to Install Systems to Remove Radon, Uranium from Well Water

Poolesville is planning to install a radon and uranium removal system on three of its 11 wells.

It is the first community water system in the state to make the installation, said Jay Apperson, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Wells 7 and 10 were taken out of service as a precaution in 2007 after uranium levels were found to be in danger of exceeding the maximum allowable contaminant level.

Since that time, well 7 has exceeded the level, but well 10 has not.

The Environmental Protection Agency sets the maximum allowable contaminant level for uranium at 30 micrograms per liter. It has not established a maximum level for radon.

Poolesville’s 2010-2011 water report found the level for well 7 to be 33.5 micrograms per liter. The level at wells 9 and 10 is 12.05 micrograms per liter, but the radon and uranium removal system is being used to avoid cross-contamination on those sites.

Iowa City Girl Uses Summer to Study Radon Data

While many of her peers are using the summer for a relaxing break, an Iowa City girl is using her summer to study.

Eleanor Mildenstein, 11, has been collecting data to determine if home radon tests are as effective in summer as winter, lobbying legislators to allow the sale of electronic readers in Iowa, and speaking with builders and Realtors about the importance of radon mitigation systems.

“It was a lot of work at first, but in the end it was worth it,” Mildenstein said.

Iowa has the highest percentage of homes in the U.S. that are above Environmental Protection Agency recommended mitigation level, she said.

But it hasn’t been all sweat. Mildenstein, who will start seventh grade at South East Junior High this month, returned from a trip to Fortuna, Costa Rica, where she also discussed her radon project. The trip was a reward for her group placing second in the national Siemens We Can Save the World Challenge for their age range.

Radon Gas in the Home is a Preventable Danger

After cigarettes, exposure is second leading cause of lung cancer, officials say

— CUMBERLAND — Radon gas can, over time, kill you. But making sure your home doesn’t contain harmful levels of the gas only requires a simple test. And radon mitigation doesn’t have to be costly.

“Everyone should test their home for radon,” said Brian Dicken of the Allegany County Health Department.

The test kits available are relatively simple and the test is then sent to a lab, which reports back to the homeowner. Radon gas occurs naturally as uranium in the ground breaks down. Because the gas dissipates quickly, radon isn’t a problem in open areas. In homes, though, the gas can build up, said John DelSignore, a registered sanitarian with the Mineral County, W.Va., health department.

“We’ll provide you with as much information as possible,” he said.

State Decertifies, Fines Radon Specialist

DEP says radon systems weren't installed properly.

The state has taken the unusual step of decertifying a radon specialist who, officials say, improperly installed systems and violated other regulations in Lehigh, Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Homeowners who hired Environmental Concepts Technology should have their radon removal systems inspected, state officials said, because the systems may not be working properly and may be exposing them to dangerous radon gas.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced late last month it had fined the company's owner, Christopher Ford of Abington Township, Montgomery County, $58,875 and decertified him from testing for radon because of problems with his work, including six systems installed in Orefield.

Survey Shows Nearly 75 Percent of Coloradans Aware of Radon Dangers, but Less Than 35 Percent Test Their Homes

DENVER – A study recently released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that 73 percent of Coloradans surveyed know about radon, an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the No. 2 cause of lung cancer overall. The survey also showed that only 34 percent of respondents had tested their homes for the gas, which originates from the decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. Harmless when it disperses in the air, radon is dangerous when it collects in homes.

“It’s encouraging that so many people are aware of radon, because most Colorado counties are at high risk for it,” said Chrystine Kelley, radon program manager in the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “The best way to protect your family is to test your home, and we recommend that every Colorado home be tested.”

American Board of Radiology Appoints G. Donald Frey, PhD, as Associate Executive Director for Medical Physics

American Board of Radiology Appoints G. Donald Frey, PhD, as Associate Executive Director for Medical Physics

The American Board of Radiology (ABR) has appointed G. Donald Frey, PhD, as its new associate executive director for medical physics, effective January 1, 2012. Dr. Frey is professor of radiology for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He will replace Stephen R. Thomas, PhD, professor emeritus of radiology, University of Cincinnati, who has served the ABR as associate executive director of medical physics since 2006.

Dr. Frey, a diplomate of the ABR in medical physics, has been a member of the ABR Board of Trustees since 2006. He has served as an ABR examiner since 1996 and has been a member of many ABR committees, including the Physics Exam Restructuring Committee, the Physics Recertification Committee, and the ABR/ACR Committee on Competence. He is currently a member of the Medical Physics Exam Committee and the Physics Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Committee.

Chemists Make First Molecular Binding Measurement of Radon

Even in trace quantities, the radioactive gas radon is very dangerous; it is second only to cigarette smoking as a cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States. The expense and precautions necessary to study it safely have limited research into its properties.Now, University of Pennsylvania chemists have for the first time measured how well radon binds to a molecule, paving the way for future research on it and other noble gasses.

The research was led by associate professor Ivan J. Dmochowski, along with undergraduate Vagelos Scholar David R. Jacobson and graduate students Najat S. Khan and Yubin Bai of the Department of Chemistry in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences. Because radon is so difficult to generate and handle safely, the Penn team collaborated with researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology who have experience in that area.

Their work was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.