Exposure to radon and its decay products accounts for over half of all radiation dose received for the average U.S. citizen. The EPA estimates that the radioactive products from decay of indoor radon are responsible for approximately 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Indoor-radon studies at the Wadsworth Center have been ongoing since 1985 with the long-term objective of preventing exposure of homeowners to high concentrations of radon.
Areas of primary interest include:
- Examining the correlation of surficial geology to indoor radon
- Identifying high-risk areas for radon in NY State
- Radioactivity in groundwater
- Radon educational programs
- Occupational exposure to radiation
- Determination of the content and emission of radiation from building materials
We recently completed a project to produce town-level radon-risk maps for New York State (http://www.nyradon.org (link is external)) using indoor-radon measurements from over 50,000 homes. The results were mapped using a geographic information system and correlated to digitized surficial geology to enable assignment of radon risk for each city and town in the State. The maps were distributed to local governments, home-related professional groups (e.g., house builders and home inspectors), public and private schools, and real estate offices throughout the State. The maps are a valuable resource for targeting high-risk areas for measurement and mitigation, and for establishing policy regarding real estate transactions and the implementation of radon-resistant building codes.