Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Reducing Radon State by State

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Reducing Radon State by State

Article excerpt

U.S. EPA has been finalizing proposed regulations designed to protect people from exposure to radon through indoor air and drinking water. The regulations will allow states flexibility in their radon reduction efforts. Research suggests that six percent of U.S. homes contain more radon than the current U.S. EPA recommendation of 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). Radon from drinking water is estimated to account for two percent of exposure.

In accordance with 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, U.S. EPA's new standards allow states to enact multimedia mitigation (MMM) in one of two ways:

1. State programs may require individual water systems to meet a less stringent proposed alternative maximum contaminant level of 4,000 pCi/L while also developing programs to reduce radon in indoor air. At a cost of nearly $86 million dollars per year, this is the most cost-effective approach, according to U.S. EPA, and the one it expects most states to adopt.

2. If a state does not choose the first option, then individual water systems must comply with a tighter proposed maximum contaminant level of 300 pCi/L in drinking water.

The regulation does not set safety standards for airborne radon concentrations, but U.S. …

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