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A New Radon Action Plan is Being Developed: But It Won’t Work Unless We All Get Involved

After nearly 30 years of operating since the passage of the 1988 Indoor Radon Abatement Act, AARST has routinely notified policy makers that more Americans may be at risk from radon than ever before, despite years of government, non-government and industry effort to address radon risk reduction. In 2010, nine federal agencies came together to develop the Federal Radon Action Plan and to launch more than 30 new projects that promote radon action through three approaches:
• Testing for and mitigating high radon in buildings using professional radon services.
• Providing financial incentives and direct support where needed for radon risk reduction.
• Demonstrating the importance, feasibility and value of radon risk reduction.

Keny-Guyer Wins Resounding Approval for Radon Testing in Schools

The House voted 54-4 on Wednesday on a bill to get all schools in Oregon to test for radon by 2021.

House Bill 2931 will start the process by ordering the Oregon Health Authority to share its public health advice with schools about the hazards regarding radon. Each school district will then have to develop a plan for testing for the deadly element, and do so by the beginning of 2021.

“Radon is an odorless and invisible gas that seeps up through rock,” said Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, the bill’s chief sponsor. “It’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer. … We want all schools to go through a testing process if they haven’t done so in the last 10 years.”

Radon is a naturally occurring gaseous element that leaks up from the ground in sporadic pockets across the state, from Scappoose to La Grande and east Portland to Salem. Radon inhalation kills 21,000 Americans each year. It is the easiest way to get lung cancer for non-smokers.

Radon is on county’s radar: Gas mitigation may become required

Some essential pieces of a radon-mitigation system could be built into every new home when the new county building codes are approved.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas released by decaying uranium in rocks, and long-term exposure can cause lung cancer. The gas is common in La Plata County, but there is no way to test for it before a house is built. So the county may require parts of radon-ventilation systems be included in every home as part an updated building code, said Butch Knowlton, director of the building department.

Updates to the code could be ready for adoption in early 2016, he told the county commissioners.

“It’s easier to mitigate with new home construction than it is to go back in an existing home and try to retrofit,” Knowlton said.

Radon requirements for buildings already have been adopted by many Colorado towns and counties, said Wendy Rice, a consumer science agent for the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

Radon Tests Could Be Required Under New County Council Bill

A new bill introduced Tuesday, June 16, 2015, by the Montgomery County Council would mandate that local home sellers test for the radioactive gas radon and provide buyers with the results.

The intent of the bill is to help home buyers be aware of the existence of the gas, which can cause serious illnesses and often occurs in single-family homes in the county, according to a memo about the bill provided to council members. Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium in rocks and soils and typically enters homes through cracks or other holes in the foundation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Radon From Your Stove: Why New York Should Enact the No Radon in Natural Gas Legislation

Enjoying the spring air? Well, take a deep breath New York.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, resulting in 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.

So why am I mentioning this now? Well, recent research reported from scientists at Johns Hopkins reiterates the wisdom of legislation introduced by assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and senator Diane Savino mandating that all natural gas sold in New York must contain safe radon levels.

Joan A. Casey and her scientific team recently reported that radon levels in Pennsylvania have risen since hydraulic fracturing of natural gas commenced. The researchers said they "found a statistically significant association between proximity to unconventional natural gas wells drilled in the Marcellus shale and first floor radon concentration in the summer," suggesting "a pathway through outdoor ambient air."

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.

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.

KS Physicians Advocacy Day gets a radon booster shot!

Radon Professionals - we know that communicating with physicians to inspire them to advocate for radon testing as a key prevention step for their patients is a challenge. In Kansas we have benefited from having the Secretary of Kansas Department of Health and the Environment (KDHE) being a physician and championing this issue. Here is the summary of what has happened in association with Kansas Radon Action Month and the letter he sent to all KS family physicians on radon.

Radon, uranium testing spikes with surge in home sales

For Portland native Kate McCabe, moving from a home hooked into the public water system to one with a private well was as much about having safe drinking water as it was about expanding the space for her growing family. So when the inspector for the house she and her husband planned to buy in North Yarmouth recommended thorough testing of the air and water, McCabe, who has a 2-year-old and another baby on the way, readily agreed. And she's glad she did. The test results showed extremely high air and water radon and water uranium readings, and she almost backed out of the deal.

"I tried to talk to as many people as I could as fast as I could," says McCabe, 35. "I called at least 10 different companies." She decided to negotiate with the sellers to pay for air and water mitigation systems, and after they agreed to pay the nearly $18,000 expense, she agreed to the sale and plans to move in toward the end of September, after the systems are installed.

23rd National Radon Training Conference, September 22 – 25, 2013

23rd National Radon Training Conference, September 22 – 25, 2013

We invite you to join us in Springfield and look forward to seeing you there.  Please click here to find a tentative agenda and other important information about this conference.