skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Radon testing behavior in a sample of individuals with high home radon screening measurements

Abstract

Although radon exposure has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer, fewer than 6% of US homeowners test their homes for radon. This report examines participants' follow-up radon testing behavior subsequent to receiving an initial screening radon level greater than 20 pCi/L. Sixty-two participants in the Iowa State-Wide Rural Radon Screening Survey who had radon screening measurements over 20 pCi/L were questioned by phone survey 3 months after receipt of their radon screening result to assess: whether participants were aware of radon's health risk; if participants recalled the radon screening results; how participants perceived the relative health risk of radon and whether participants planned follow-up radon testing. Only 19% of the respondents specifically identified lung cancer as the possible adverse health outcome of high radon exposure, and the majority of participants underestimated the health risks high radon levels pose when compared to cigarettes and x-rays. In addition, less than one third (29%) of the participants actually remembered their radon screening level within 10 pCi/L 3 months after receiving their screening results. Only 53% of the individuals correctly interpreted their screening radon level as being in the high range, and only 39% of the participants planned follow-up radonmore » measurements. Receipt of radon screening test results indicating high radon levels was not an adequate motivational factor in itself to stimulate further radon assessment or mitigation. The findings suggest that free radon screening will not result in a dramatic increase in subsequent homeowner initiated remediation or further recommended radon testing. 13 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. (Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (United States))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5681939
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Risk Analysis; (United States); Journal Volume: 13:4
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; HEALTH HAZARDS; PUBLIC OPINION; RADON; RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS; SCREENING; BEHAVIOR; IOWA; MITIGATION; PUBLIC ANXIETY; RISK ASSESSMENT; BUILDINGS; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; ELEMENTS; FLUIDS; GASES; HAZARDS; NONMETALS; NORTH AMERICA; RARE GASES; USA; 290202* - Energy Planning & Policy- Sociology- (1992-); 290300 - Energy Planning & Policy- Environment, Health, & Safety; 550100 - Behavioral Biology

Citation Formats

Field, R.W., Kross, B.C., and Vust, L.J.. Radon testing behavior in a sample of individuals with high home radon screening measurements. United States: N. p., 1993. Web. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00744.x.
Field, R.W., Kross, B.C., & Vust, L.J.. Radon testing behavior in a sample of individuals with high home radon screening measurements. United States. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00744.x.
Field, R.W., Kross, B.C., and Vust, L.J.. Sun . "Radon testing behavior in a sample of individuals with high home radon screening measurements". United States. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00744.x.
@article{osti_5681939,
title = {Radon testing behavior in a sample of individuals with high home radon screening measurements},
author = {Field, R.W. and Kross, B.C. and Vust, L.J.},
abstractNote = {Although radon exposure has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer, fewer than 6% of US homeowners test their homes for radon. This report examines participants' follow-up radon testing behavior subsequent to receiving an initial screening radon level greater than 20 pCi/L. Sixty-two participants in the Iowa State-Wide Rural Radon Screening Survey who had radon screening measurements over 20 pCi/L were questioned by phone survey 3 months after receipt of their radon screening result to assess: whether participants were aware of radon's health risk; if participants recalled the radon screening results; how participants perceived the relative health risk of radon and whether participants planned follow-up radon testing. Only 19% of the respondents specifically identified lung cancer as the possible adverse health outcome of high radon exposure, and the majority of participants underestimated the health risks high radon levels pose when compared to cigarettes and x-rays. In addition, less than one third (29%) of the participants actually remembered their radon screening level within 10 pCi/L 3 months after receiving their screening results. Only 53% of the individuals correctly interpreted their screening radon level as being in the high range, and only 39% of the participants planned follow-up radon measurements. Receipt of radon screening test results indicating high radon levels was not an adequate motivational factor in itself to stimulate further radon assessment or mitigation. The findings suggest that free radon screening will not result in a dramatic increase in subsequent homeowner initiated remediation or further recommended radon testing. 13 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs.},
doi = {10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00744.x},
journal = {Risk Analysis; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 13:4,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 1993},
month = {Sun Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 1993}
}
  • Tested in a field experiment (N = 647) the hypothesis that perceptions of personal susceptibility are important in decisions to test one's home for radioactive radon gas. Experimental group subjects received a personal telephone call to tell them they lived in a high-risk area and a personal letter to reinforce the telephone message. After the intervention, experimental subjects were significantly more likely than minimal-treatment subjects to acknowledge the possibility of high radon levels in their homes. Perceptions of susceptibility and illness severity were significantly correlated with orders of radon test kits and with testing intentions. Nevertheless, there were no differencesmore » between groups in test orders or intentions. Results are discussed in terms of the difficulty of getting people to acknowledge susceptibility and the factors other than risk perceptions that influence self-protective behavior.« less
  • A survey was taken of 314 individuals, 55 of whom had residences that exceeded the EPA action level of 148 Bq m-3 (4 pCi L-1) of radon as measured by a medical center radon testing service. The survey was designed to assess whether these individuals followed the 1986 EPA guidelines for follow-up testing and mitigation. The survey indicated 41% of respondents performed follow-up tests and 16% of the respondents performed some form of mitigation. Some respondents had performed mitigation after inadequate or no follow-up radon tests. There was a positive relationship between follow-up testing and mitigation and higher initial radonmore » screening values.« less
  • A description is given of energy-conserving home building techniques taught at the Shelter Institute in Maine. Individuals can save 20-50 percent of the cost of a contractor-built home. In a Shelter Institute house, almost every characteristic contributes to the ease of building, durability, energy efficiency and low operating and maintenance costs. (JMT)
  • The authors present the precaution adoption process model--a stage theory consisting of seven distinct states between ignorance and completed preventive action. The stages are unaware of the issue,' aware of the issue but not personally engaged,' engaged and deciding what to do,' planning to act but not yet having acted,' having decided not to act,' acting,' and maintenance.' The theory asserts that these stages represent qualitatively different patterns of behavior, beliefs, and experience and that the factors that produce transitions between stages vary depending on the specific transition being considered. Data from seven studies of home radon testing are examinedmore » to test some of the claims made by this model. Stage theories of protective behavior are contrasted with theories that see precaution adoption in terms of movement along a single continuum of action likelihood.32 references.« less
  • Bisphosphonates are a common treatment to reduce osteoporotic fractures. This treatment induces osseous structural and compositional changes accompanied by positive effects on osteoblasts and osteocytes. Here, we test the hypothesis that restored osseous cell behavior, which resembles characteristics of younger, healthy cortical bone, leads to improved bone quality. Microarchitecture and mechanical properties of young, treatment-naïve osteoporosis, and bisphosphonate-treated cases were investigated in femoral cortices. Tissue strength was measured using three-point bending. Collagen fibril-level deformation was assessed in non-traumatic and traumatic fracture states using synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) at low and high strain rates. The lower modulus, strength and fibrilmore » deformation measured at low strain rates reflects susceptibility for osteoporotic low-energy fragility fractures. Independent of age, disease and treatment status, SAXS revealed reduced fibril plasticity at high strain rates, characteristic of traumatic fracture. We find the significantly reduced mechanical integrity in osteoporosis may originate from porosity and alterations to the intra/extrafibrillar structure, while the fibril deformation under treatment indicates improved nano-scale characteristics. In conclusion, losses in strength and fibril deformation at low strain rates correlate with the occurrence of fragility fractures in osteoporosis, while improvements in structural and mechanical properties following bisphosphonate treatment may foster resistance to fracture during physiological strain rates.« less