222516 Association of radon gas densities with location of abandoned coal mines in Sangamon County, Illinois

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Ajay Myneni, Graduate Student, MPH-EH , Department of Public Health, University of Illinois at Springfield, Lansing, MI
Sharron LaFollette, PhD , Department of Public Health, University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, IL
Background: Radon gas has been identified as the second leading cause (primary risk factor in non-smokers) of lung cancer by the EPA and is accountable to 21,000 deaths every year. Radon gas densities have not been examined when considering coal mine problems. This study identifies areas with high radon gas densities in Sangamon County, Illinois and examines any possible association with abandoned coal mine locations.

Methods: Map data for county boundaries and location of Illinois coal mines was obtained from Illinois State Geological Survey Clearinghouse. Illinois Emergency Management Agency provided 2005 Radon gas density measurement data for Sangamon County. The average measurement at each location was calculated and numerical data was converted to spatial data for graphical presentation. The address locations were superimposed over abandoned coal mine site locations in the County map.

Results and Discussion: Higher radon gas densities were found in locations over abandoned coal mine sites. Lower radon gas densities were found in areas where measurement and mitigation measures are in place. A more extensive study using state wide data is under progress. A possible association between Radon gas density levels and location of abandoned coal mine sites can help in planning mitigation measures. Image data can be used as an education tool and can affect mining, real estate and construction laws and transactions towards prevention of lung cancer due to radon.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify areas of high radon density and location of abandoned coal mines in Sangamon County, Illinois. 2.Analyze for possible association between radon densities and abandoned coal mine sites. 3.Discuss the implications of the study with respect to impact on the local community.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I collected the data and worked on the project with guidance from my academic adviser. I am working on expanding the study with state wide data.
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.