Considerations for Building Owners
Southeast Idaho Phosphorus Slag Program
The results of the testing will be maintained confidentially by the testing contractor working for the District Health Department, Monsanto, and FMC. Testing results will be reported to EPA and the public in aggregate only (no names and addresses will be used). For example, we might occasionally provide statistics on how many properties have been tested and what the range of results is.
Phosphorus Slag Inventory
The District Health Department, Monsanto, and FMC have established an "inventory" of phosphorus slag testing results for Southeast Idaho. The inventory is a listing of the most recent testing results. All residential entries in the inventory have been approved by their owners.
The inventory lists public places (including streets, sidewalks, businesses and public buildings) that have been found to contain phosphorus slag, even though such places may not contribute a significant level of exposure to radiation for most people. The primary reason for automatically listing public places in the inventory is to ensure that the slag will be adequately considered when the areas are replaced due to normal wear and tear.
Residents in Southeast Idaho may experience elevated radiation doses in their homes and business properties from many sources. The primary focus of the phosphorus slag program is on gamma radiation from phosphorus slag that has been used as a building material in many area buildings. Some buildings may have elevated radon levels which increase radiation dose to the occupants. Radon is an invisible, odorless gas and a natural part of the environment. It will be important to know the level of radiation resulting from radon in addition to that resulting from phosphorus slag so that appropriate measures can be taken to protect the residents' health. Because of this, property owners participating in the program may also have their buildings surveyed for radon.
Who else will be given the results of the survey of my property?
No one. Program results will be reported in aggregate only. For example, we might provide statistics on how many properties have been evaluated and what the overall results have been.
My home was built in 1988. Should I still participate in the program?
While buildings built in the 1980s and 90s are less likely to have phosphorus slag in them than homes built in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, we can't guarantee that they do not. If you want to know for sure whether or not your building has slag in it, you are welcome to participate in the program.
How long will the testing program be offered?
EPA, FMC, and Monsanto have agreed to conduct an initial phase of testing in 1996 and 1997. After this initial period, the testing will be available for an indefinite period of time for those individuals that would like to participate. The extended offer will be particularly useful to either new residents or individuals that would like to have a residence retested after making changes to reduce exposure.
Southeast Idaho Phosphorus Slag Homepage