Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) released a draft profile for radon, open for public comment. Comments will be accepted until February 2009. The ATSDR profile will likely not be updated again for many years so this will be the main reference individuals use for radon many years to come. For full details, including the full draft profile please visit http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp145.html.
President offers Earth Day advice
Can't get enough of the Earth Day festivities? Try logging onto the White House's new Earth Day Web site.
The site not only includes a video of President Obama touting Earth Day's importance, it also directs you to a handy list, provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, called "Pick 5 for the Environment," that allows you to select from a menu of 10 green activities that you might like to commit to, such as conserving water, recycling and testing your home for radon.
Obama tells Americans in the video, "I want you to take action -- in your home or your community; at your school or your business -- to improve our environment. It can be as simple as riding the bus or the subway to work, making your home more energy-efficient, or organizing your neighbors to clean up a nearby park."
James Burkhart, Ph.D., Editor of the 2008 International Radon Symposium Proceedings, is pleased to announce that the 2008 Proceedings are now available for review and download. Research published in previous years is also available for download on the AARST website. There is no charge to download these research papers and you do not have to be an AARST member to use this web database.
AARST associate membership and full membership fees support free, worldwide access to peer-reviewed research, which in turn contributes to international science and the reduction of risk from radon-induced lung cancer. Therefore, all radon professionals are invited and encouraged to consider joining AARST to support this important work.
A CD version of the Proceedings will be published in late October of this year.
Harnessing the Media to Raise Awareness
In the past, the local newspaper in Jessamine County, KY was not eager to print stories about environmental issues. This January, however, Lindsay Ball and the Jessamine County Health Department decided to engage the newspaper to help distribute free radon tests during National Radon Action Month.
“I called the newspaper office and asked them how I needed to go about getting an article about radon in the newspaper,” explained Lindsay Ball. “I told the editor what radon was and how it was the second leading cause of lung cancer. I asked if they could print an article about radon stating that the Health Department had free radon test kits available.”
After learning about the major health effects of radon and potential impact on their community, the editor was more than happy to print the article. He asked Lindsay to submit an article.
Radon levels at Washougal City Hall force changes
Air quality testing at Washougal City Hall revealed high levels of radon gas throughout the building, prompting the mayor to relocate most employees to other city buildings.
Exposure to radon, a natural component in soil gases, can cause cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The average indoor radon level is 1.3 picoCuries of radiation per liter (pCi/L) of air, the EPA says.
Testing in Washougal City Hall earlier this month measured levels between 11 pCi/L and 26 pCi/L, with the highest concentration in a closed basement storage area, Mayor Sean Guard said in a news release. Findings were received Monday.
A level of 4 pCi/L should prompt action to lower the radon level, the EPA says. Guard said the EPA stopped short of calling City Hall unsafe but said it required immediate action.
StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas, together with the Marble Institute of America (MIA), will present a session at the annual stone show next month addressing the ongoing debate surrounding radon and granite.
“StonExpo is the perfect place to present this message because it’s where the stone industry arrives en masse, and it is where we can both educate the industry and ask for support in one place,” said Gary Distelhorst, the executive vice president of the MIA.
20th National Radon Training Conference
Date: October 17 – 20, 20
Location: Hyatt Regency at the Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio
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 Columbus, Ohio, and look forward to seeing you there. Please find below by clicking on the link a tentative agenda and other important information about this conference.
All of the information in this announcement and invitation, along with additional items or changes when they become available, will be available on CRCPD's website. Check the website for all updates.
Involving the Community in Innovative Outreach
This January, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Radon Education Program sought new and innovative ideas for getting the radon message out to the public. Among several new efforts was using volunteers to help during NRAM and an idea suggested by our area director -- to hang door tags on houses in high radon potential areas.
The door tag idea seemed plausible and the area director was willing to do some of the legwork, so I developed two-sided, four-color door tags and had them printed in time to be distributed in Reno neighborhoods during National Radon Action Month.
We are eager to hear about the successful outreach conducted through the Radon Tee: World Trek 2010! To share your Radon Tee: World Trek 2010 story and inspire others, visit www.radonleaders.org/radontee/share and tell us about your experience. The stories we receive may be featured here in the RadonLeaders.org InFocus.
The following narrative tells the story of classmates Cristine Solomon and Diane Dougherty, nursing students in Aurora, Colorado, who were inspired to educate the public about the potential health risk presented by radon exposure.