While many people have heard of radon and some even know it is a carcinogen, not enough are taking action to reduce their risk. That’s why the EPA Radon program is working with others to improve public awareness and promote action. One example is the Radon Leadership Initiative, or RLI, developed by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, with EPA support.
The RLI is designed to engage communities at the grassroots level, to demonstrate results and mobilize leaders. Communities promote radon risk reduction locally and form coalitions with states and others organizations. With EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s support for stronger focus on community initiatives, it seems like good timing to kick off another project rooted in local action.
This first year, the RLI has four communities tackling radon exposure in creative ways to increase action through awareness, testing and building new homes with radon resistant new construction, or RRNC:
- Maine Indoor Air Quality Council: train code officials and builders in RRNC code.
- Southern Illinois Radon Awareness Task Force: recognize homeowners with radon systems and develop participation from local health professionals.
- Minnesota State University-Mankato: train realtors on RRNC and improve quality and marketability of RRNC homes.
- Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals: increase awareness through social marketing and the traveling T-shirt.
You can read more about Kentucky’s RLI program here.
The RLI is part of Radon Leaders Saving Lives, a campaign bringing together government, industry, non-profits and other groups to address radon exposure in communities of all shapes and sizes. The dialog on the campaign’s Web site has been truly impressive; we’ve always known that people who work with radon are passionate, but we now have proof! Check it out. This is also where you can track the progress of the four RLI programs throughout the year.
The RLI is one more innovative way to bring the radon message closer to home for many people. I’m curious how you first learned about radon and what you are doing to promote radon action locally. Please share your experience in the comments section below.
Remember… Test. Fix. Save a life.
About the author: Rebecca L. Reindel, MFS, is an Association of Schools of Public Health Environmental Health Fellow in the Indoor Environments Division, part of the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air. She is completing her Master’s Degree in Public Health at the George Washington University. She holds a Master’s in Forensic Toxicology and has previously addressed workplace exposures for taxi drivers and was an instructor at GWU.