Cancer Control Programs Often Don't Address Radon Concerns

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 (Last Updated: 08/15/2013)

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than half of the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program plans address radon-related activities, according to a study published in the Aug. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Antonio Neri, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed 65 cancer plans created from 2005 to 2011 and categorized their radon-related activities as radon awareness, home testing, remediation, supporting radon policy activities, or policy evaluation. Alignment with existing radon-specific policies in each state was assessed.

The researchers found that 42 percent of the plans reviewed had radon-specific terminology. All 27 of these plans included improving radon awareness; home testing was included in 21; remediation in 11; support for radon policy activities in 13; and one included policy evaluation. Current engagement in radon activities was noted in three plans. Radon-specific laws were present in 30 states with most (21) related to radon professional licensure. Cancer plan activities were aligned with existing state radon laws in 11 states.

"Although several states have radon-specific policies, approximately half of cancer coalitions may not be aware of radon as a public health issue," the authors write. "Comprehensive Cancer Control-developed cancer coalitions and plans should prioritize tobacco control to address lung cancer but should consider addressing radon through partnership with existing radon control programs."

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