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Notice of Intent To Establish Voluntary Criteria for Radon Credentialing Organizations

Notice of Intent To Establish Voluntary Criteria for Radon Credentialing Organizations
A notice of availability was published Wednesday, August, 23, 2017, in the Federal Register seeking public feedback on a proposed approach for developing voluntary criteria for organizations that credential radon service providers. The comment period for this action is open for 60 days and closes on October 23, 2017. Currently, states receiving indoor radon grants from EPA may only list providers credentialed by one or both of two recognized credentialing bodies or their state-run certification program. These criteria will establish an ongoing and open evaluation process for organizations wanting to credential radon service providers and will help states ensure high-quality radon services are available to their citizens. To access the notice, visit: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA_FRDOC_0001-21169

New Tech Protects Homes from Invisible Radon Threat

You don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer. If you’re unlucky and don’t take precautions, all you have to do is breathe the air in your home.

Radon — a colorless and odorless radioactive gas found in soil — causes more than 21,000 deaths from lung cancer every year in the U.S. — more than carbon monoxide and house fires combined. Released from rock, soil and water, the uranium-derived gas can reach dangerous levels in even the best-built homes.

Read more here.

Radon Could Be A Hidden Threat In Your Home

Realtor Debra Harris had found just what her client wanted.

A duplex on Morgan Street in Throop was remodeled, in move-in condition and at a price she could afford. It checked all her boxes for an investment property. But when the home inspection came back, there was an issue: radon.

A walk through the home wouldn’t show any sign of the odorless, colorless gas that comes from the decay of uranium.

The gas causes lung cancer and is the primary cause of the cancer among people who don’t smoke, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, and most counties in Pennsylvania, are in the EPA’s highest zone for highest potential for unhealthy radon levels.

“She was going to have tenants in there, so she definitely needed that addressed,” Harris said.

The seller wound up installing a radon mitigation system to close the deal. As Harris remembers, it cost about $2,500.

High Levels of Radon Found in Some Wells Across Pennsylvania

A new U.S. Geological Survey study has discovered high levels of radon in wells across certain areas of Pennsylvania.

The study, which was conducted in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Environmental Protection, examined 1,041 well samples and found that 14 percent had radon levels at or above the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed alternative maximum contaminant level of 4,000 picocuries per liter. While the EPA does not currently regulate radon in drinking water, it has proposed this alternative limit for public water supplies in states like Pennsylvania, which has an EPA-approved radon indoor air quality program. For states without an approved program, the EPA has proposed a lower, more protective, maximum contaminant level of 300 picocuries per liter.

Bethel Park students collaborate on radon-testing project

Testing for radon comes with the possibility of producing numbers you don’t exactly want to see.

“Luckily, none of our houses in Bethel were above the actionable levels that the EPA sets,” Neil Armstrong Middle School teacher Joe Rosi said, “which is awesome.”

As part of a project involving collaboration with Bethel Park High School students, Rosi’s fifth-graders conducted tests at their homes, determining if any exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold at which corrective action should be taken. For the record, and for aspiring scientists, that’s four picocuries per liter.

“We have kids who already have abatement systems that exist in their houses,” Rosi said. “They didn’t know what they had them for, and now they know.”

The silent killer: How to protect your home against radon gas

Unbeknownst to millions of families, the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers could be lurking inside their homes.

Exposure to radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas, claims an estimated 24,000 lives annually, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Many victims have never smoked a cigarette, according to the American Lung Association.

Radon, a Class-A carcinogen, is the second-leading lung cancer threat overall, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The odorless, tasteless and colorless gas can be found anywhere and can go undetected inside homes for years.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that one in 15 homes will test at or above the EPA’s action level of four picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

A picocurie is a measure of the rate of radon’s radioactive decay.

What is radon, and why is it dangerous?

The action level for radon, the level where the health risk warrants fixing, is 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/l). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in 15 homes nationwide has an elevated level of radon (a level at or above the action level), while one in four homes tested in Nevada has an elevated radon level.

Because Nevada lacks any regulations that protect citizens from radon, the first step toward risk-reduction occurs through education. The second step is to test, as testing is the only way to determine a home or building's radon level.

Additionally, a home should be tested every two years, before or after remodeling and after significant seismic activity.

Read more here.

Radon risks - How concerned should you be?

Beautiful home, but how can you tell if the soil it's built on is emitting hazardous radon gas?

According to the Washington State Department of Health, radon is the single largest source of radiation for most residents of Washington and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

You should definitely take radon seriously if it's present in your home. But that doesn't mean you should walk away from a home you're considering for purchase because of radon fears.

Read more here.

2017 Radon Poster Contest Winners Announced

 2017 Radon Poster Contest Winners Announced

The 2017 Radon Poster Contest winners have been announced as part of National Radon Action Month. The American Lung Association (ALA) and Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) co-sponsor the poster contest with support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

“Radon is the leading cause of death in homes and the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. The only way to know your radon has a radon problem is to test,” said Patrick Daniels, chair of the CRCPD Radon Committee.

Children ages 9-14 were eligible to participate in the nationwide contest to promote radon awareness. Ten states submitted their winning entries for consideration. The American Lung Association has provided $1,500 in prize money to the three winners.

The 2017 posters winners and their prizes include:
First Place: Victoria R., Florida – $1000;
Second Place: Joshua F., Nevada – $300; and
Third Place: Lucille D., Colorado – $200.

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National Radon Action Month Poster Contest Winners

National Radon Action Month Poster Contest Winners

As part of National Radon Action Month, the American Lung Association and Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors have partnered, with support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to announce the winners of the 2016 National Radon Poster Contest.

The contest is held each year across the nation to raise awareness of radon gas. Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas formed by the breakdown of uranium in the soil and is found in every state. Radon can enter a home through cracks and other openings in the home and can build up to dangerous levels.

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