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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

CRCPD and EPA Partner to Offer $5000 Funding Opportunities for YouthBuild Radon Pilot Projects

CRCPD and EPA Partner to Offer $5000 Funding Opportunities for YouthBuild Radon Pilot Projects

With the goal of reducing radon risks in underserved communities, CRCPD and EPA are partnering to sponsor a YouthBuild Radon Pilot Project at one to two sites during 2015-2016.

The Pilot Projects are intended to encourage partnerships between state radon programs and YouthBuild programs interested in integrating radon risk reduction activities into their home building projects. Programs selected for the projects will receive up to $5,000 in grant funds from CRCPD plus other in-kind contributions to defray the costs of supplies, training, assessments, and on-site technical assistance. Nationwide, in 2013, a total of 68 YouthBuild programs in 31 states were awarded DOL grant funding in 2013; these programs are eligible to apply to the Radon Pilot Project. For more information and a link to the application, click the MORE button.

24th National Radon Training Conference, September 28 to October 1, 2014 - Charleston, SC

24th National Radon Training Conference, September 28 to October 1, 2014 - Charleston, SC

Announcement and Invitation
24th National Radon Training Conference
September 28 – October 1, 2014
Charleston Marriott
Charleston, South Carolina

The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) is sponsoring this conference and training with financial assistance from:

Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

We invite you to join us in Charleston, South Carolina and look forward to seeing you there. Please find a tentative agenda, announcement, and invitation, along with other important information about this conference at the CRCPD website.

Fracking critics keep pushing for state-backed health study

A group of health professionals opposed to hydraulic fracturing penned a letter Wednesday to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, calling on him to take a closer look at radon levels in shale gas before allowing fracking in New York.

But the letter is notable for this: The health professionals who signed the letter are continuing to push Cuomo's administration to do its own study of fracking's health-related impacts.

In September 2012, now-former state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah launched a review of fracking -- which, he said often, was decidedly not a study. The Department of Health wasn't tasked with studying the impacts of fracking, but rather reviewing the Department of Environmental Conservation's proposed permitting guidelines and studies conduct by outside professionals and colleges.

How to breathe easier at home

How's the atmosphere in your home? We're not talking about the mood or décor – we're talking about the air, literally.

You probably don't think much about the air around you, but you spend hours breathing it every day, and it can be full of stuff you don't want in your lungs.

"Sometimes people overlook indoor air pollutants, which in some ways are very similar to outdoor air pollutants," said Hsin-Neng Hsieh, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

"The Environmental Protection Agency has published data saying that pollution in our buildings is two to five times greater than outdoors," said Daniel Kopec, an architect in Glen Ridge who teaches building systems and technology at the institute. "We're spending 90 percent of our time in buildings, so it's a huge problem."

With those warnings in mind, here are seven things you can do to breathe easier inside your four walls:

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Test for Radon

Radon: The silent killer in your home

Tobacco smoke in a home is easy to detect as it drifts through the air or leaves its odor in clothes or furniture. Its health toll is equally as obvious as the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.

Less obvious and almost as deadly is radon, an odorless gas that causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It's a bigger concern during cold winters like the one we've just experienced when radon levels sky rocket in well-sealed homes.

The odorless gas is caused by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and water and seeps into homes through drains and cracks in the foundation. While radon is natural in the air, levels can be harmful when it is trapped inside a house.

In the U.S. 1 in 15 homes have unsafe radon levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency website.

Study examines increase in lung cancer risk from combined radon and tobacco smoke exposure

In the words of Dr. Ellen Hahn, professor in the University of Kentucky's colleges of nursing and public health, Kentucky has the "triple crown of lung cancer" - the country's highest rate of smoking combined with high rates of second-hand smoke exposure and high levels of radon exposure.

Nationally, lung cancer has the highest mortality rates of all cancers. While the relationship between tobacco smoke and lung cancer is well known, there is less awareness among the general public about the dangers of radon exposure. In the United States, radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking. Second-hand smoke exposure is the third leading cause.

Officials discuss radon levels

Right around springtime four years ago, what Gail Orcutt thought were allergies turned out to be much worse.

“I found out I had lung cancer,” the Pleasant Hill resident said. “I’ve never smoked a day in my life.”

Her cancer didn’t come from cigarettes. Instead, the culprit was a colorless, odorless gas: radon.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation, claiming roughly 21,000 lives each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Orcutt, a retired teacher and lung-cancer survivor, made it her mission to educate people and raise awareness on the poisonous gas.

Now, after a recurrence of the cancer in August, and only a week out of chemotherapy, she is teaming with an elected official.

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has been spearheading the push to create legislation that would require more testing for radon levels in the state, especially in schools. Braley has advocated in Congress for resources and support.