Community Radon

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Nichols, Margaret
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Background Radon is a naturally formed gas that comes from the decay of certain types of rocks below thesurface. Radon can go undetected due to it being odorless, invisible, and tasteless therefore it is often in homes built onto these formations. Drawing from data collected by a community survey, this study assesses residents' awareness of radon, comprehension of associated risks, andexperiences with potential side effects. Methodology The data collection method used for this study was an anonymous survey, which was sent to potential participants by mail. It was requested that only one resident complete the survey per household and that the person completing was 18 years old or older. Responses were gathered by text message, QR code, and mailbox drop-off. Some responses came back by posted mail. Surveys dropped in or mailed to the post box were entered by QR by the researcher. All responses were downloaded onto an Excel spreadsheet for analysis. Results Key findings indicated a strong knowledge of the presence of the radioactive gas, 80 out of 83, while only half of residents chose to mitigate, among the responses received between January 1st and 31st, 2024. Out of the 83 participants, 56 acknowledged that they were aware of radon presence in this particular community. Seventy-eight participants claimed to know the health risks of radon, while only 3 acknowledged having potential symptoms that could be related to radon exposure, including coughing, wheezing, or chest pain. While still a substantial number of residents have chosen to mitigate, totaling 47%, many fail to take the proper precautions to make sure their equipment is performing correctly through regular maintenance indicating gaps in safety measures which totaled 80.7%. Conclusions Overall, this paper underscores the need for community associations and real estate professionals to actively educate homeowners on potential risks and encourage proactive measures. Mitigation and testing are a minimal cost, without which can cost lives. This paper advocates for enhancing public health outcomes in one small community and across the region.