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Environmental Earth Sciences

, 78:120 | Cite as

Geological data and outreach methods for designing targeted home radon testing programs

  • Connor Y. H. Wu
  • Michael Bennett
  • Katherine Fox
  • Aaron Hubbard
  • Laura Parkhurst
  • Rebecca Sherrod
  • Sarah Holguin
  • Julia M. GohlkeEmail author
  • Susan W. Marmagas
Original Article
  • 4 Downloads

Abstract

Indoor radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, yet radon risk reduction programs often struggle to increase home radon testing rates. This study compared two outreach methods to improve home radon testing and examined the association between home radon levels and geologic data in Central Appalachian communities in Tazewell County, Virginia, and Mercer County, West Virginia. We recruited 327 residents via phone and 211 residents via in-person workshops in 2016 and 2017. In total, 538 radon test kits were distributed to residents for deployment in their homes and subsequent shipment to a certified laboratory for analysis. We received 225 valid test results, which were subsequently linked to geologic units derived from the United States Geological Survey based on geocoded addresses. Results indicate that participants recruited by phone were more likely to complete the home radon test than those recruited in-person from workshops. Of seven geologic formation categories in the study area, dolomite formations from the Cambrian–Ordovician period were associated with the highest median radon value, 4.25 pCi/L (0.38–124.45 pCi/L). Our results suggest that effectiveness of radon risk reduction programs may be improved by phone education and test kit distribution campaigns, targeting homes on geological formations previously associated with heightened radon levels.

Keywords

Radon Geology Home radon Radon risk analysis United States Appalachian studies 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks are extended to Ryan Paris from the Virginia Department of Health for guidance and support throughout this project and Paul Wolff from the University of Alabama (UAB), Center for the Study of Community Health (CSCH) Survey Research Unit for management of efficient phone recruitment. This project was supported by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Office of Radiological Health, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) via a contract with Virginia Tech investigators (MOU No. VDH-16-631-0135) and a Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Seed Grant. A subcontract between Virginia Tech and UAB CSCH Survey Research Unit supported phone recruitment of participants.

Supplementary material

12665_2019_8123_MOESM1_ESM.docx (250 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 250 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Connor Y. H. Wu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael Bennett
    • 2
  • Katherine Fox
    • 1
  • Aaron Hubbard
    • 2
  • Laura Parkhurst
    • 1
  • Rebecca Sherrod
    • 1
  • Sarah Holguin
    • 2
  • Julia M. Gohlke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susan W. Marmagas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Population Health SciencesVirginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.School of Arts and SciencesBluefield State CollegeBluefieldUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geospatial Informatics, College of Arts and SciencesTroy UniversityTroyUSA

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