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Monday, October 3rd by Iris Doubleday
It’s pretty rare that geologists and state health professionals work together, but that’s just what happened in Kentucky when the two groups teamed up to make a new radon map for the state. University of Kentucky health researchers combined their radon findings with the research of university geologists with the hope of creating a radon risk potential map that may be more accurate than previous knowledge of the state’s radon levels.
Radon, a naturally-occurring gas created by uranium decay in the soil beneath most homes, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. While low levels of radon exposure are acceptable, high levels can cause serious health risks for homeowners. Luckily, radon is easily detected with radon testing, and radon mitigation systems can make your home healthy and safe once again. The hope is that Kentucky’s new radon map will be used to raise awareness of radon exposure in the included counties.
Certain rock formations are frequently associated with a heightened risk of radon. In constructing the map, geologists identified and mapped these specific rock formations and combined their conclusions with the data collected by health professionals from more than 60,000 radon test kits. The result? A comprehensive map that identifies the risk potential for 15 selected Kentucky counties based on lung-cancer risk and existing local radon programs. According to the news release, the map is unique in that it “accounts for multiple risk factors and shows the gradient radon potential within counties and across geographic features.”
Ellen Hahn, a professor in the UK College of Nursing and the director of the Bridging Research Efforts and Advocacy Toward Healthy Environments (BREATHE) initiative, stated in the news release that she and her colleagues hope that the map will be used to further public health outreach in Kentucky. Since radon exposure is much worse when combined with smoking, researchers hope to increase anti-smoking campaigns in those counties where risks are higher, along with increasing radon testing and radon mitigation in those areas.
While National Radon Defense doesn't currently have a dealer located in Kentucky, we are constantly expanding. If you're looking for radon services and you live in another state or a Canadian province, find your local radon contractor today!