221847 Building a radon-free environment: A test your home and win contest

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Sarah Kercsmar, PhD , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Jennifer Mason, AAS , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Covington, KY
Sarah Adkins, MS , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Susan Westneat, MA , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Mary Kay Rayens, PhD , College of Nursing and College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Heather Robertson, MPA , College of Nursing, Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy, University of Kentucky Tobacco Prevention and Research Program, Lexington, KY
Ellen Hahn, DNS, RN , College of Nursing and College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
The purpose was to evaluate a population-based contest to increase home radon testing to promote healthy homes and reduce lung cancer risk. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Given variable radon laws, very few homes are tested for radon. A Test and Win Contest was promoted via media and fliers. Participants received a free test kit and were eligible to win a free mitigation system: the homes with the 5 highest radon levels were mitigated at no cost. Nearly 300 residents expressed interest; 193 were eligible homeowners. All participants received reminders to return test kits; 68% returned readable kits. Most participants were male (50%), Caucasian (96%), married (83%) and nearly half had minor child(ren) in the home (48%). One-fifth were smokers and/or lived with a smoker. Of the 131 readable test kits, 57% of homes had radon levels at or above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Homes with basements had higher radon levels than those without. The average age of homes was 24.7 years; mean number of years lived in the home was 10.3. Homeowners whose home tested above the EPA action level received follow-up information on remediation to reduce their risk of lung cancer. Considering the high prevalence of radon exposure and the relatively long duration of exposure for many participants, the Contest was effective in promoting radon testing in an at-risk population. Given the synergistic effects of radon and tobacco smoke, radon testing is particularly important for those with smoking in the home.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify an innovative approach to promoting healthy homes. Describe lessons learned in conducting a population-based radon testing contest.

Keywords: Environmental Health Hazards, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have been working in radon for 2 years and oversaw the study described in this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.