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  1. #1
    Paul Ybarra's Avatar
    Paul Ybarra Guest

    Default WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    At the AARST Conference in St. Louis the Keynote speaker represented the World Health Organization (WHO) and provided details on the WHO Handbook on radon. This event was announced world-wide on the same day. Big item here is the WHO recommends the radon action level to be 100 Becquerel’s per cubic meter (Bq/m3) which is 2.7 pCi/L.

    I know the USEPA’s action level 4.0 pCi/L and in documentation they indicate that people consider to mitigate at levels 2-> 3.9 pCi/L. Let's see if the EPA does comment on this new level by the WHO.

    Attached is the handbook for your reading enjoyment.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Dearborn Heights, Mi
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    Thumbs up Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    Paul,

    Thanks for the reference information.

    I see the report was printed in 2009. Do you know what dates the AARST conference in St. Louis was held?

    Derek Lewis


  3. #3
    William Levy's Avatar
    William Levy Guest

    Default Re: AARST proceedings on line

    AARST procedings are on Radon Symposium Research Papers and Presentations from all Previous AARST and EPA Radon Conferences


    from Bill Levy
    ASSOCIATED RADON SERVICES
    Associated Radon Services | Certified Radon Analytical Laboratory | Radon From Granite Testing | Radon Testing | Apartment Radon Testing Specialists | Building Material Radon Emanation and Soil Radium testing | Radium-226 | condo radon testing | e-pe

    here is email from AARST yesterday


    Click Here to view webpage version 2009 Proceedings
    You're receiving this email because of your relationship with The American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists. Please confirm your continued interest in receiving email from us.

    You may unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our emails.

    2009 International Radon Symposium
    Proceedings Are Now Published
    on the AARST web site


    Dear H. William,
    James Burkhart, Ph.D., Editor of the 2009 International Radon Symposium Proceedings and Chair of the Symposium Peer Review Committee, is pleased to announce that, as of 3:00 PM (New York, Eastern), the 2009 International Radon Symposium Proceedings will be available for review and download on the AARST web site: Symposium Proceedings.

    You may also go to a link on the AARST web site home page to download these proceedings or previous years' published research.

    There is no charge to dowload these research papers and you do not have to be an AARST member to use this web database.

    That said, AARST associate membership and full membership fees support free, worldwide access to peer-reviewed research, which in turn contributes to international science and the reduction of risk from radon induced lung cancer.

    I therefore invite you, and encourage radon professionals everywhere, to please consider joining AARST to support this important work.

    On behalf of the AARST National Board, I thank the authors, researchers and peer-review committee for contributing to the success of the 2009 International Radon Symposium.

    The 2010 International Radon Symposium will be held in Columbus, Ohio next October, in conjunction with CRCPD's National Radon Training Meeting.

    We welcome your support and Participation

    Sincerely,

    Bill Angell, President
    The American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists


    The American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists
    Executive Director's Office
    Alstead, New Hampshire 03602
    603-756-9259


  4. #4
    Steve Karr's Avatar
    Steve Karr Guest

    Cool Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    I just received my NEHA-NRPP measurement certification, and my classroom instruction was provided by none other than Dr. Jim Burkhart himself, here in Colorado Springs. He said that several years ago the EPA tried to reduce the "Action Level" from 4.0 pCi/L to 2.0 pCi/L but encountered serious resistance from the builder and real estate communities citing the extra costs of mitigating the additional homes (between the 4.0 and 2.0 pCi/L levels) would hurt their business. The EPA compromised and says "Consider fixing when the radon level is between 2 and 4 pCi/L." This info is out of the EPA's "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon" (402/K-09/002).

    Lucky me, Dr. Burkhart's lab is 15 minutes from home.


  5. #5
    Paul Ybarra's Avatar
    Paul Ybarra Guest

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    Derek, The conference started on Monday 9/21 for the proceedings yet the welcome reception was Sunday night it ended on Wednesday afternoon.

    Mr. Levey posted the URL for the conference papers. A very good document of on the list is "A LIVING RADON REFERENCE MANUAL" by R Lewis and Dr. Paul Houle. Its a living document so it is expected to change/additions. One place for radon information....


  6. #6
    William Levy's Avatar
    William Levy Guest

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    Hi all,

    FYI .."""" reduce the "Action Level" from 4.0 pCi/L to 2.0 pCi/L but encountered serious resistance from the builder and real estate communities citing the extra costs of mitigating the additional homes (between the 4.0 and 2.0 pCi/L levels) would hurt their business. The EPA compromised and says "Consider fixing when the radon level is between 2 and 4 pCi/L." This info is out of the EPA's "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon" (402/K-09/002)."""

    Also another reason is the ability to measure radon at the 2.0 level is problematic at best.. the statement consider fixing between 2 and 4 is itself text book reasoning not the kind of action levels in other EPA standards ! 4.0 is the action level BUT....I can just imagine asbestos .1 fiber / BUT consider it a possible asbestos at less ! Asking a radon mitigator to deal in the 2 to 3.9 range presents challanges.. unless a clearance testing protocol is based on device performance standards other than +/- 25% that now exist and long term measrements.

    Cheers

    Bill


  7. #7
    Paul Ybarra's Avatar
    Paul Ybarra Guest

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    Article from the Washington Post ... See EPA's (Tom Kelly, acting director of radiation and indoor air) comments on action level.

    WHO Urges Lower Threshold for Acting on Radon


    WHO Urges Lower Threshold for Acting on Radon - Local Address - Buying, selling and owning a D.C.-area home.


    Many of us shake our heads when we hear of non-smokers who develop lung cancer and wonder how they could have come down with such a brutal disease. But in many cases, scientists tell us, exposure to radon gas in their homes could have been the cause. According to the World Health Organization, between 3 and 14 percent of lung cancer cases can be blamed on exposure low- to medium-level levels of radon in homes.

    WHO just recommended that countries set an action level for getting rid of radon that's lower than the one established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nearly two decades ago. According to the EPA, if a radon test shows the level in your home to be 4 picocuries per liter or higher, you should re-test and then take action to reduce the level. But, even if a test shows a level of 2 picocuries per liter, the agency suggests people consider taking action.

    WHO's new recommendation (which they stated in the European metric method, at 100 Becquerel per cubic metre) is equivalent to 2.7 picocuries per liter using the American measure, according to Tom Kelly, acting director of radiation and indoor air for the EPA. But he said the agency is not considering changing its recommended action level of 4, partly because the round number is easy for the public to remember.

    In a phone interview, Kelly said, "There is no threshold level in which radon is safe. ... There's a lot of risk below 2.7; there's a lot of risk below four." The most important thing, he said, was just to get people to take the risk seriously, test their homes and then to perform the relatively simple and inexpensive fixes needed to reduce their exposure.

    "Radon is a terrible thing," Kelly said. "More than 20,000 Americans every year are found to have lung cancer. Much of that is avoidable."

    He estimated about 15 percent of homes in America would show high levels if they were tested.

    Radon gas is produced by the decay of uranium in the soil. It has no color or odor and can enter homes through cracks in the floor or foundation walls, or through slab openings for sump pumps and plumbing.

    You can buy a do-it-yourself radon test kit at hardware stores for about $10. "These rugged little test kits still give you a very useful estimate," Kelly said. If it shows radon, you can follow up with more precise tests from professionals. "Remember, 4 is not safe," Kelly said. He also said it's best to do the test in the cooler months, when the house is closed up and humidity levels are low. Heat and humidity can affect readings, he said.

    If you do find radon, often it can be lowered dramatically by sealing building openings and adding ventilation, especially in the basement.

    By Elizabeth Razzi | September 24, 2009; 6:00 AM ET


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
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    469

    Talking Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    As of Wednesday, I began providing clients with the new WHO recommendations, along with the current USEPA recommendations. On Friday, a real estate agent nearly had a stroke right in front of me (a very bad display in front of her clients), demanding of me why "we (real estate agents) weren't told about this". Oh well, my clients deserve to know what the latest evidence suggests to be an acceptable level of exposure, regardless. It was ever so slightly humorous to witness this melt-down, any way. It never occurred to me that we home inspectors were responsible for the knowledge possessed by real estate agents!

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  9. #9
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    Let me preface the following question with this: I know little about radon testing other than what I have read. I do not perform radon tests.

    Now then, if I understand what I have read, it seems that testing kits can be purchased for under $20 and it does not take a high school diploma to operate one, right? So why would someone want to pay $$$ for an inspector to disrupt their household for days with some other type of testing?


  10. #10
    Paul Ybarra's Avatar
    Paul Ybarra Guest

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    AD Miller, Let's place your question in the context of a Real Estate transaction. The buyer wants to know the current radon reading (short term) in the home he is going to purchase for a $150,000. The homeowner tells the buyer that he has just completed a radon test. Do you accept the test? Is this test accurate? Was the test sent to the lab quickly? Was the date and times filled out correctly? Was closed building conditions met? Etc…

    With a professional test you have a third party (certified or licensed) executing the test that has nothing to gain from this sale of real estate. The tester verifies closed building conditions; uses tamper deterrents (tape, temp, humidity closed building agreements etc).

    My money would be with the third party test if I was the buyer.

    Homeowner environmental testing (Not for Real Estate transfer) is different and if executed correctly should give valid results.

    ************************************************** *******

    Randy, On my cover sheet in our report we will be adding the WHO recommended action level but our recommendations to mitigate will still be based on the EPA action level. Until we have the EPA or Local regulators acknowledge the WHO number and the 2.7 action level can go industry wide we would only be throwing business away (real estate transactions). With that reference on my report I do expect RE Agent feedback.

    Just my 2 cents…


  11. #11
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ybarra View Post
    AD Miller, Let's place your question in the context of a Real Estate transaction. The buyer wants to know the current radon reading (short term) in the home he is going to purchase for a $150,000. The homeowner tells the buyer that he has just completed a radon test. Do you accept the test? Is this test accurate? Was the test sent to the lab quickly? Was the date and times filled out correctly? Was closed building conditions met? Etc…

    With a professional test you have a third party (certified or licensed) executing the test that has nothing to gain from this sale of real estate. The tester verifies closed building conditions; uses tamper deterrents (tape, temp, humidity closed building agreements etc).

    My money would be with the third party test if I was the buyer.

    Homeowner environmental testing (Not for Real Estate transfer) is different and if executed correctly should give valid results.
    PY: Thanks.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,445

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    AD, the main reason I use a continuous monitor is the ability to see the hourly readings, instead of just the end result.

    Last week I printed out test results and noticed there was a large block of time in the middle where the numbers dipped significantly. Turns out the listing agent came by and opened windows during part of my test (verified by buyer's agent). The good thing is she touched the monitor and caused it to register "Tampered", so the test was invalid.

    With a mail-in cannister, the result would have come out low and no one would have suspected a thing.


  13. #13
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: WHO HANDBOOK ON INDOOR RADON

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    AD, the main reason I use a continuous monitor is the ability to see the hourly readings, instead of just the end result.

    Last week I printed out test results and noticed there was a large block of time in the middle where the numbers dipped significantly. Turns out the listing agent came by and opened windows during part of my test (verified by buyer's agent). The good thing is she touched the monitor and caused it to register "Tampered", so the test was invalid.

    With a mail-in cannister, the result would have come out low and no one would have suspected a thing.
    JF: Makes sense.


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