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January is National Radon Action Month

Release Date: 01/06/2010
Contact Information: David Bryan, (913) 551-7433, bryan.david@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 6, 2010) - EPA has designated January as National Radon Action Month. The aim of National Radon Action Month is to increase the public's awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant new construction practices.

What is Radon?
Radon is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas that causes no immediate health symptoms but medium and long-term exposures can cause lung cancer. It comes from the breakdown of uranium inside the earth. Simple test kits can reveal the amount of radon in any building. Buildings with high levels can usually be fixed with simple and affordable venting techniques. EPA information - www.epa.gov/radon/index.html

EPA estimates that one in every 15 homes nationwide has a high level of radon at or above the recommended action level of 4 picoCuries (pCi/L) per liter of air.

Healthy Homes
The Healthy Homes Community Initiative (HHCI) is a demonstration pilot project in which EPA Region 7 partners with environmental, health, and energy organizations in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Partners provide educational information and services to help community members address concerns related to health and the indoor environment. A collaborative approach is used to address health and environmental concerns within the home.

Components of the initiative include:

  • Community Train-the-Trainer Sessions - Sessions are designed to make community members more effective at helping others learn about health and the home environment.
  • Outreach at Community Events - Healthy Homes outreach and educational information is provided at neighborhood events.
  • Community Presentations - Presentations are given to community leaders, parent groups, and service providers to increase awareness about health and the home environment.
  • Media Campaign - Educational and resource information is provided in a clear and concise way so community members know where to seek help or resources associated with health and the home environment.

Publications

Media Materials - www.epa.gov/radon/rnpsa.html
EPA has developed a wide variety of media materials, including public service announcements (PSAs) and video news releases (VNRs). These materials are available in television (MPG format), radio (MP3 format), newspaper, and print formats (press-ready PDF) for posting in public places. To view, listen to, and/or order these materials, please visit: www.epapsa.com

Some radio stations may also have received radon-themed recordings from state legislators who attended the National Council for State Legislatures Legislative Summit in July 2009. State legislators from Region 7 states who made recordings include:

Iowa Senate Majority Leader - Sen. Michael Gronstal - District 50 - Council Bluffs
Iowa State Sen. Staci Appel - District 37 - Ackworth
Iowa House Speaker - Rep. Pat Murphy - District 28 - Dubuque
Iowa State Rep. Thomas (Tom) Schueller - District 25 - Jackson County
Missouri State Rep. Bertram (Bert) Atkins - District 75 - Florrisant
Missouri State Rep. J.C Kuessner - District 152 - Eminence
Missouri State Rep. Sue Schoemehl - District 100 - St. Louis
Nebraska State Sen. Brenda Council - District 11 - Omaha
Nebraska State Sen. Gwen Howard - District 9 - Omaha
Nebraska State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist - District 7 - Omaha

Access to Experts
If you are interested in developing a story about radon, EPA can provide information and materials to support your effort. EPA can help you identify top scientific and medical experts at the forefront of indoor air quality research to address environmental health issues, including radon and indoor air quality.

Basic Information for Consumers
Citizen's Guide to Radon - www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html
Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon - www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html
Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction - www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html

Resources and Contact Information
Indoor air pollution can pose risks to human health, especially sensitive populations, and has ranked among the top four environmental risks in relative risk reports. Chemicals and compounds contributing to indoor air pollution include radon, environmental tobacco smoke, organic chemicals and biological contaminants. The primary goal of the Region 7 Indoor Air Quality Program continues to be improving the quality of indoor air for Americans who live or work in homes, schools or office buildings.

Region 7 Radon Program Contacts
Media - David Bryan, bryan.david@epa.gov, (913) 551-7433
Events/activities coordination - Bob Dye, dye.robert@epa.gov, (913) 551-7605

Radon Contacts and Information
Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas
State Regulations on Radon Service Providers
Several states have regulations on radon service providers. Below is a list of states with licensing or certification requirements. Visit these Web sites to see current lists of radon service providers.

Iowa - Iowa radon home page - www.idph.state.ia.us/eh/radon.asp
Nebraska - Nebraska radon home page - www.dhhs.ne.gov/radon/
Kansas - www.kansasradonprogram.org/Current_RnCertProg.pdf (63 pp, 307K About PDF)
    Note: Kansas uses amended National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) lists. Kansas does not have s state certification program.
Missouri - uses NEHA National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP)
NEHA National Radon Proficiency Program - www.radongas.org/
National Radon Safety Board - www.nrsb.org/index.html
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More EPA information on radon