EPA, state officials to discuss radon plan at conference

EPA representatives and health officials from Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska will gather in Columbia, Mo. tomorrow to discuss how to address the health threat of radon in our soil – a problem especially serious in Iowa, where the radioactive gas kills some 400 people each year.

Agencies have been working together to forge a risk reduction plan for radon, and the goal of the conference is to engage key stakeholders and help direct the next phases of the program, according to an EPA release.

Iowans face greatest risk for radon, few test for it

A startling sight: All 99 of Iowa's counties are colored bright red on the EPA's radon zone map. The color signifies where people face the highest risk of breathing the radioactive gas. Source: EPA.

It silently seeps into buildings, colorless and odorless – a radioactive gas caused by the decay of uranium rocks in the soil.  It enters through cracks in floors, walls or foundations and it can be found in building materials or tainted well water.

January is Radon Awareness Month, and Iowans should be among the most aware. They face the highest risk of exposure, according to the EPA. Continue reading