A must-read article concerning the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) recent push for stricter radon laws – both federal and state policies regarding radon action levels, radon testing before home sales, radon testing in multi-unit housing, and radon testing in workplaces.
U.S. Science and Standards Organization Calls for New Effective National Policies Regarding a Deadly Radioactive Gas
Written by Peter Hendrick, AARST June 24, 2015
The Board of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), the nation’s leading professional scientific radon association, recently released a new policy statement calling on the federal government to take serious and effective steps in addressing a very real health risk that causes, on average, a death every 25 minutes in the United States.
“The goals of the 1988 Indoor Radon Abatement Act have not been achieved,” said AARST President Shawn Price. “The few policies implemented to date by the US EPA have failed to adequately address that silent deadly killer. Because voluntary efforts are insufficient alone to arrest this enormous health risk, we call for the following steps in our policy statement.”
The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) declares that indoor radon exposure will only be greatly reduced through the following actions:
- Congress must direct EPA to issue regulations (1) requiring radon testing or notification for all home sales and (2) requiring that such radon testing be conducted by certified professionals adhering to standards recognized by the American National Standards Institute.
- EPA must adopt a health-based action level no higher than 100 Bq/m3 (2.7 pCi/L) – the radon reference level adopted by the World Health Organization in 2009.
- HUD must require that all federally assisted and insured housing units be mitigated if tested higher than EPA’s action level.
- OSHA must update and clarify its regulatory standard for offices and other workplaces to be consistent with EPA’s action level.
The board’s foundation position was very clear in the statement’s call for these new federal policies:
“We must protect the public from lung cancer caused by indoor radon. Protracted radon exposure increases the risk of all types of lung cancer. Real people die daily from this radioactive gas,” said AARST Board Member and retired school teacher Gloria Linnertz, who lost her husband to lung cancer almost a decade ago. “Congress instructed both EPA and HUD in the late 1980’s to take definitive steps to address this risk, and they have not completed the assigned tasks.”