Map: Iowa counties’ average indoor radon levels


I’ve put together a map that shows the average indoor radon level of every county in Iowa. Click on the image above to access the map.

The green color on the map indicates that the county has an average indoor radon level of 3-4 (pCi/L) – a safe level. All the other colors indicate unsafe levels of radon. Yellow is 4-7 (pCi/L), red is 7-9 (pCi/L) and blue is 9-12 (pCi/L). The national average indoor radon level is about 1.3 (pCi/L) according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The average indoor radon level data is from Air Chek, INC., population data is from the Iowa Data Centerand the number of home/condo owners and apartment renters data is from City Data.

Go here for information on the dangers of radon exposure.

CGRER Research Focus – Nicholas Petrich


Nicholas Petrich, a graduate student in the University of Iowa’s Environmental Engineering department, discusses his research on determining concentrations of PCBs in the air.

For more CGRER Research Focus videos, check out our Youtube Channel.

On the Radio: Genetically modified crops affect monarch butterfly populations


Photo by Dave Govoni, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses the effects genetically modified crops on monarch butterflies.

Monarch butterfly populations are declining.  Some research suggests that genetically modified crops may be partially responsible.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

ISU assistant professor works to turn leftover harvest material into biomass


Photo by tricky (rick harrison), Flickr.

Laura Jarboe, an Iowa State University assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, is working on developing a way to turn leftover material from farmers’ harvests into biomass. These materials include corn stover and waterway switchgrass.

The biomass can then be converted into biofuels and chemicals.

Jarobe and her team are currently working on fine-tuning this technology.

Read more here.

CGRER Research Focus – Pallavi Marrapu


Pallavi Marrapu, a research assistant in the University of Iowa’s Chemical and Biochemical Engineering department, discusses her work forecasting air quality in Delhi.

For more CGRER Research Focus videos, check out our Youtube Channel.

UNI student starts curbside recycling business


Photo by mkhaund, Flickr.

Brian Hoyer, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa, has started his own curbside recycling business in Cedar Falls.

The business is called Recycles Rite, and it’s the only curbside recycling service in Cedar Falls.

More than 450 household use Recycles Rite’s service, diverting eight tons of recycled material from the landfill each month.

Read more here.