Science Education

WNCF   The World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency have announced a call to action for Americans to test their homes for Radon Gas, which has recently been identified as the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the U.S. The EPA has officially designated January 2011 to be National Radon Action Month in the United States. The press, local health departments, and the media are encouraged to help save lives in 2011 by promoting National Radon Action Month. Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas that seeps out of the ground and can enter homes and other buildings.…

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Matthew Beaudin, Telluride Daily Planet doc4cf9af6005ea0846693142.jpg The rise of the Atomic Age in the 1940s carried with it the promises of new energy and economic frontiers. It built towns in the Southwest and provided jobs. And then, the industry packed up and left, though it left much of itself behind in the form toxic waste and economically exhaled towns. It’s in the industry’s remains that Doug Brugge, a professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University, toils. He’s done oral histories on mining’s impacts on the Navajo Nation and has followed that work up with studies on the…

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Kathleen E. Carey, The Delaware County Daily Times Delaware Countians at high risk of developing lung cancer may have recently gotten another lease on life. Thanks to Dr. Raymond J. Vivacqua, medical director of the Crozer Regional Cancer Center, and his participating partners, an evaluation procedure called the Family Lung Assessment Program, which is accessible to all people, offers free identification surveys and low-cost CAT scans for specific populations in jeopardy of developing lung cancer. “I’m hoping to reduce the number of people scanned so we target the people who need it,” Vivacqua said. Although the program has been in…

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Temperature Calibration Formula for Activated Charcoal Radon Collectors.pdf Radon adsorption by activated charcoal collectors is known to be largely affected by temperature and relative humidity. Quantitative models are, however, still needed for accurate radon estimation in a variable environment. The following abstract is from a paper in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity - introducting a temperature calibration formula based on the gas adsorption theory to evaluate the radon concentration in air from the average temperature, collection time and liquid scintillation count rate. View the full paper. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 102, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 60-63.

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Wauneta Breeze Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) announces a $500 radon mitigation scholarship available to an area contractor. The purpose of the scholarship is to make radon mitigation more easily accessible in Southwest Nebraska. With the increased awareness of radon and the increase in the number of tests being conducted, SWNPHD felt it was necessary for area contractors to become trained and licensed in radon mitigation. The requirement to become a Nebraska radon mitigation specialist includes training in radon measurement, as well as radon mitigation. The radon training is typically offered in Lincoln sometime during the spring. Training involves…

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Pam Keyes, Pekin Daily Times   RADON DANGERS — It comes out of the ground, is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and all homes are susceptible to the deadly radioactive gas. These are just a few of the facts that inspired three area students to be named regional winners in a statewide poster contest designed to educate and raise awareness about the harmful effects of indoor radon gas. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It enters homes through small cracks in…

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Chris Woolston, The Los Angeles Times Radiation Sign.jpg You may not realize it, but your life is radioactive. If you've eaten a banana lately, potassium-40 atoms in your body are shooting out thousands of particles every second. And if you're anywhere near solid ground, you can assume that radon gas is pelting you with gamma rays. With X-rays at the dental office, radon in the basement and cosmic rays beaming down from space, we're literally surrounded by radioactivity and high-powered radiation. Invisible, exotic and — as nuclear weapons have so clearly demonstrated — potentially lethal, radiation seems perfectly suited to…

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Radon Census Demographic Match Tool.xls An Excel document with hyperlinks that displays up-to-date Census demographic information for each U.S. state and county - alongside an EPA's radon zone map. This tool provides for easy county by county comparisons of radon zones and demographic data.

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I was a child when introduced to the phrase, “separating the sheep from the goats.” Although the saying has biblical roots, I typically heard it in reference to distinguishing between good and bad, or between high and low value. Recently, I’ve been thinking about it with respect to nanotechnology. Earlier this year I participated in a public event, and we were asked: “Are nanomaterials safe?” This reasonable question comes up often, sometimes in the negative form, “Are nanomaterials dangerous?” I have begun prefacing my response by asking that we reframe the question. This is where sheep and goats come in.…

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Things are much more energy efficient than they used to be, from our vehicles to our light bulbs, and most of us practice the three R’s of Reducing, Recycling and Reusing.  But now we have so much more…more vehicles, more technology, more everything…   At first thought this may seem like a pretty easy question, but think about it for a minute, and then share your thoughts. Do you think your carbon footprint is smaller than your parents’ or grandparents’? Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to…

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