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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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NSAB Kicks Off Year-long Radon Survey in March

A year-long survey to test radon levels inside buildings on Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) starts March 20 when radon detectors will be placed in pre-selected locations.

On NSAB, approximately 1,500 radon detectors will be put in 670 locations in any Commander, Navy Installations Command-owned building, such as the barracks, Navy Exchange, Navy Lodge and Building 27.

Read More Here.

USGS Finds Elevated Levels of Arsenic, Radon, Methane in Some Private Wells in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

Tests of 75 private drinking water wells in Lycoming County, in north-central Pennsylvania, found water from most of the sampled wells contained concentrations of radon that exceeded a proposed, nonbinding health standard for drinking water. Smaller percentages of the wells contained concentrations of arsenic or methane that exceed existing drinking water standards.

Read More Here.

Doctors urge testing for radon in homes

Radon, first discovered in Berks in the 1980s, is a colorless, odorless, tasteless natural gas, stemming from uranium and found in the soil.

"I think it's something people typically underestimate and don't really understand," said Dr. Dennis Sopka, Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Radon causes 15,000 cases of lung cancer each year, according to scientists. Sopka said the real concern is long-term exposure.

Read more here.

Do I Have a Radon Problem at my House?

As Homes Cozy Up For Winter, Radon Levels Can Build

With winter on the way, many people are making sure best practices are in place for a weather-tight season. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) November 1st Soils Matter blog post explains why “home sweet home” is worth an inexpensive radon test for peace of mind through the winter months.

Nick Comerford, a professor in the soil and water science department at University of Florida, explains how radon forms. Its parent material, uranium, is found in most soil. As uranium decays, it eventually becomes radon gas. Depending on the level, radon gas can lead to health issues, including lung cancer. The risk increases if cigarette smoke and other particles are also present.

“Radon can move as a gas through the soil and enter your house through holes in the foundation.” Comerford says. “These holes might be found in places like the shower, toilet, other drains, etc. Any dust particles you have floating around your house collect radon – which you can then inhale.”

Having children at home did not prompt parents to test for radon, secondhand smoke

A University of Louisville School of Nursing researcher has found that the presence of children in the home did not motivate parents to test and mitigate for radon and secondhand tobacco smoke, both of which cause lung cancer. The findings highlight a need to raise awareness on these exposure risks and their long-term impact on children.

Read more here.

Five Years Later, Radon Levels are Lingering Reminder of 2011 Louisa Earthquake

It’s been nearly five years since an earthquake hit Virginia, toppling chimneys and brick walls, cracking foundations and toppling furniture. No one was killed or seriously injured, and for many people, it’s just an exciting memory, but for some the quake may have produced a silent but dangerous problem for homeowners.

Wolfgang Hermann runs a company called Central Virginia Radon -- testing for and getting rid of a radioactive gas that comes from rocks and soil - leaking into houses and putting their residents at increased risk for lung cancer. Shortly after the Mineral earthquake, he made a surprising discovery.

“I went to a customer who had a radon monitor at home, a plug in device where they could detect, yes, after the earthquake it went up twice as much.”

And he heard of other cases where the same thing happened.

Read more here.

Health officials hope new radon map will spur home testing

The Minnesota Department of Health is promoting a new interactive statewide map of radon levels to encourage residents to test for the carcinogenic gas.

The department said about two in five homes have dangerously high radon levels. Dan Tranter, supervisor of the Health Department's radon program, said he hopes the new map will spur people to test for the gas, which is the No. 2 cause of lung cancer.

All homes should be tested for radon even where the new map suggests the overall radon threat is relatively low, Tranter said.

"There are differences between counties when you look at the map you'll see southern Minnesota [and] western Minnesota tend to have higher radon levels, but we do see high radon levels across the state," said Tranter. "Every county, every ZIP code has high radon levels. So the way the public should use this is to stimulate their interest in the subject."