Article Text

  1. M. Crull
  1. University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA


Purpose of Study Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US, yet public awareness is lacking regarding the health risk associated with radon. Based on the information provided by the Wyoming Department of Health, homes in Afton, Wyoming have significantly elevated levels of radon. A community health project was designed to increase awareness concerning radon and to encourage the community to test their residences' for radon.

Methods A literature review was conducted to determine relevant information for community education regarding radon. Two presentations were developed and presented. One presentation was given to local family physicians and other health care providers and another to community residents. In addition, health information brochures were obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency and provided to local public health department and the community clinic for dissemination to the general public. Both radio and television public service announcements were produced and an article was published in the local newspaper.

Results The educational presentations were well received by the specific target audiences. The multifaceted educational efforts filled a deficiency concerning a local public health hazard. The 2 weeks prior to the community project 5 radon test kits were distributed from the public health office, and in the 2 weeks following the project, 70 test kits were distributed.

Conclusion Due to several unique characteristics of radon, a majority of the public fails to view radon as a significant health risk. A greater effort should be made to inform the public about radon. This community health project has increased radon awareness and encouraged residents to take action to reduce their exposure to radon in the home.

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