Tracking Program Maps Radon Exposure in Washington StatePosted on by
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon causes about 20,000 cases of lung cancer each year, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon can seep up from the ground and become trapped in buildings. The EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon in buildings that have a radon level at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. Testing is the only way to know if radon levels are high in your home or office.
CDC funds 26 state and city tracking programs as part of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network). Several tracking programs have worked with national and state partners to improve radon exposure risk maps to better inform radon testing in their states.
The Washington Tracking Program worked with state geologists to develop a more detailed radon exposure risk map for the state. This map identified areas of low, medium, and high risk of radon exposure based on soil and rock types. Tracking staff also gathered state-wide radon testing data from national testing companies as well as data from the state radon program. They used these data to produce maps that showed testing results by ZIP code. The Tracking program also added maps of radon test data and exposure risk to the Tracking Portal. Layering these maps showed new, previously unknown hot spots, such as around the Puget Sound and many high to moderate risk areas where no testing had been performed in the past.
Watch a short video about a family who made changes in their home based on new radon information from the Washington Tracking Program.
Radon Success Stories from Tracking Programs
Radon Resources from CDC