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New Test Method for Community Mapping of Radon in Puerto Rico

Data from the US Geological Survey (USGS) suggest that some areas in Puerto Rico have the potential for high radon levels, which may pose health concerns. However, radon levels in Puerto Rico is not well characterized, which limits effective policies and programs to reduce risks. Additionally, typical radon testing technology (charcoal cannisters or electric-powered devices) are impractical because of high humidity and electrical power uncertainties in Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricanes (Irma and Maria) that devastated the island present an opportunity to improve radon mitigation strategies during renovation and rebuilding. This project will deploy new radon measurement devices that rapidly show results via integrated electronic readings. The project will engage communities and neighborhoods in radon surveys. Radon measurements will be carried out by community members who will receive citizen-level training. Monitoring radon in neighborhoods will provide actionable information to citizens and inform local and regional policy. The project is aligned with The Healthy Buildings Long-Term Recovery Initiative, which has developed strategic partnerships with universities, community organizations, PR Mayors Association, and the territorial agencies.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: Multiple Puerto Rico municipalities locations: Arecibo, Camuy, Ciales, Hatillo, Lares, Morovis, San Sebastian

Project Status: Active - recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Data analysis, Data entry, Geolocation, Observation,

Start Date: 02/01/2020

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

EPA logo

Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Disaster response, Health and medicine

Intended Outcomes: This project will increase radon monitoring capacity at the local level and inform planning decisions, including incorporation of radon-reducing features in building practices as part of the disaster recovery and rebuild effort.