Successes and Challenges in Implementation of Radon Control Activities in Iowa, 2010–2015
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Successes and Challenges in Implementation of Radon Control Activities in Iowa, 2010–2015

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Background Radon gas has recently become more prominent in discussions of lung cancer prevention nationally and in Iowa. A review in 2013 of cancer plans in the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program found that 42% of cancer plans, including Iowa’s, had terminology on radon. Plans included awareness activities, home testing, remediation, policy, and policy evaluation. Community Context Iowa has the highest average radon concentrations in the United States; 70% of homes have radon concentrations above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action levels. Radon control activities in Iowa are led by the Iowa Cancer Consortium, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Radon Coalition. Methods A collaborative approach was used to increase levels of awareness, testing, and (if necessary) mitigation, and to introduce a comprehensive radon control policy in Iowa by engaging partners and stakeholders across the state. Outcome The multipronged approach and collaborative work in Iowa appears to have been successful in increasing awareness: the number of radon tests completed in Iowa increased by 20% from 19,600 in 2009 to 23,500 in 2014, and the number of mitigations completed by certified mitigators increased by 108% from 2,600 to more than 5,400. Interpretation Through collaboration, Iowa communities are engaged in activities that led to increases in awareness, testing, mitigation, and policy. States interested in establishing a similar program should consider a multipronged approach involving multiple entities and stakeholders with different interests and abilities. Improvements in data collection and analysis are necessary to assess impact.
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