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AARST Announces Emerging Risk Reduction Sectors for the 25th InternationalRadon Symposium

AARST Announces Emerging Risk Reduction Sectors for the 25th InternationalRadon Symposium

The 25th International Radon Symposium, sponsored by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), will introduce pre-conference courses and an expanded practicum section at its Springfield, Illinois conference, September 22-25, 2013. The section will concentrate on the emerging risk reduction sectors of multifamily radon testing and mitigation, and radon new construction standards.

Radon,which is the second leading cause of lung cancer and can be deemed the seventh leading cause (after leukemia when separated from lung cancer) of all cancers, is a naturally occurring radioactive gas responsible for over 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the United States.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety and Health Radon Video

The Minnesota Departments of Public Safety and Health are teaming up to bring awareness to the dangers of radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Any home, regardless of its size or location, can pull up radon gases from the ground. Many people might be breathing in these deadly gases and never know. We hope this informational video will motivate you to get a radon test kit.

We talked to James Kelly, M.S., Supervisor for the Indoor Air Unit and asked a few questions about the video. In addition, we inquired as to other efforts that have taken place during the 2012 National Radon Action Month. First, we asked how the video came about and requested more information on how he was able to get the Commissioners of Public Safety on camera. His response was the following:

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Congratulations 2011 Radon Mini Grant Winners

CRCPD has awarded six mini-grants for the 2011 Radon Mini Grant Program. Congratulations to the following state programs and their respective community partners:

  • Illinois Emergency Management Agency and American Lung Association in Illinois
  • Nebraska DHHS Radon Program and Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department
  • Ohio Department of Health, Indoor Radon Program and Erie County Health Department
  • Maine DHHS Radiation Control Program and the Maine Indoor Air
  • Quality Council
  • Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Southern Illinois Hospital Services
  • Nebraska DHHS Radon Program and Panhandle Public Health District

Rise of deadly radon gas in Pennsylvania buildings linked to fracking industry

A new study published Thursday reported a disturbing correlation between unusually high levels of radon gas in mostly residences and an oil and gas production technique known as fracking that has become the industry standard over the past decade.

Writing in the journal Environmental Health Perspective, researchers analyzed levels of radon — a colorless, odorless gas that is radioactive and has been linked to lung cancer — in 860,000 buildings from 1989 to 2013. They found that those in the same areas of the state as the fracking operations generally showed higher readings of radon. About 42 percent of the readings were higher than what is considered safe by federal standards. Moreover, the researchers discovered that radon levels spiked overall in 2004, at about the same time fracking activity began to pick up.

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Hong Kong’s background radiation levels ‘astounding’, says former top official

Astounding" levels of background radiation measured in some of the city's poorly ventilated urban areas were almost a third higher than the world average, a former environmental protection official has revealed.

Dr. Mamie Lau May-ming, who retired as principal officer last year, measured background radiation with a Geiger counter at around a dozen points across the city last year, including Sham Shui Po, Sai Kung and Central.

At one covered pedestrian bridge in Nam Cheong, radiation levels hit 0.32 microsieverts per hour and above - 36 per cent higher than the global average of about 0.25.

Roughly the same readings were taken from the stairwells of an old Tai Kok Tsui primary school and a poorly ventilated office building corridor in Central.
By contrast, recordings at the abandoned Japanese city of Tomioka-machi, near the tsunami disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, were 0.65 as of September, she said.

Families struggle with radon in military housing

Marine Col. Anthony White had already lost a kidney to cancer that doctors attributed to living on Camp Lejeune, N.C., where thousands were sickened by contaminated water for more than three decades. So when he found out in 2011 that his home at Okinawa’s Plaza housing area had exposed him and his family to elevated levels of radon, White took action.

He discovered the problem after watching workers install a radon mitigation system at a nearby house that had been vacated by a family leaving Okinawa. He recognized the system from his home in Virginia, where, as in most of the United States, elevated radon levels are a required disclosure upon sale or rental of a home.

On Okinawa, all housing falls under Kadena Air Base and Air Force radon regulations. Kadena’s rules have required that radon levels be five times higher than the EPA action level before a home will be fixed, when funding has been available.

More needed to reduce radon-related cancer

More than 35 years after studies first linked radon to lung cancer, researchers and public health officials are urging new legislation to prevent an estimated 3000 Canadians from dying every year after exposure to the radioactive gas.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, accounting for about 16% of lung cancer deaths annually, reports the Canadian Cancer Society.
Radon is a naturally occurring by-product of uranium that can seep into any building from the soil. Radon cannot be seen, tasted or smelled. The carcinogen may accumulate in any home — regardless of a region's geographic risk — particularly in basements and crawl spaces that have not been properly ventilated.

Standout Student: Pascal Acree studies radon levels

Last year when Riverwood International Charter School student Pascal Acree was a sophomore in Honors Chemistry, he did his science fair project on the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in homes. This year, as a junior, he took it to the next level — making a poster and presenting at the international Radon Symposium in Charleston, SC.

He said he was inspired to do the project because of radon test results in his own home.

“My science project examined the effect of environmental conditions on radon levels in a home,” Pascal said. “I was motivated to pursue this because a radon test had recently been performed in our house.

Canada’s Largest-Ever Home Radon Testing Results Released

The BC Lung Association on January 26, 2015, released the results of the largest ever community-wide home radon testing project done in Canada. Getting more British Columbians to test their homes for radon – the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – is a priority for the BC Lung Association. As is ensuring people know how to mitigate a radon problem, if one exists.

During winter 2014, radon test kits were distributed to more than 2000 homes in Prince George and 230 homes in Castlegar and surrounding areas – two areas of the province known to have elevated levels of indoor radon.

Measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), Health Canada recommends home radon levels not exceed a safety threshold of 200 (Bq/m3).On average, one in three Prince George homes and one in two Castlegar homes tested above Health Canada’s suggested safety threshold.

Radon turns family's dream home into nightmare

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -You can't see it, smell it or taste it, but it kills 20,000 people each year, and there's a good chance Radon is in your home.

Radon is a radioactive gas that lurks under millions of homes in the United States. It's the second leading cause of lung cancer.

One family in Bellevue found out the hard way just how dangerous it can be. They also learned getting rid of it can be costly.

Ed Petterson and his wife Jane thought they had bought that perfect home in Bellevue four months ago.

“We wanted something quiet, serene and out of the way, and it had a nice view and good acoustics,” said Petterson.

But it wasn't long before their dream home turned into a nightmare.

“I started to get some symptoms, really heavy ringing in my ear and my brain and sinuses,” said Petterson. “We forgot to test for Radon and we tested for radon and boom it was off the charts. That went anywhere from a low of 417 to 537.”