Seasonality, Weather Conditions and Indoor Short-Term Radon Measurements

Seasonality, Weather Conditions and Indoor Short-Term Radon Measurements

Seasonality, Weather Conditions and Indoor Short-Term Radon Measurements NICHOLAS CONLEY, MPH MARY KAY RAYENS, PHD ELLEN HAHN, PHD, RN, FAAN 2019 International Radon Symposium Denver, Colorado Outline 1. Summary and Objectives 2.

Background 3. Methods 4. Observations 5. Results 6. Strengths and Limitations

7. Conclusions Summary Seasonality Precipitation

Less rainfall associated with higher values Wind Higher radon levels in colder months Higher wind speeds associated with lower values Seasonality studies Majority outside of the U.S

Inconsistent findings Objectives Objective 1: To determine if season, wind and precipitation were predictive of observed home radon values Objective 2: Determine best time for radon testing : Observed home radon values will be higher in cooler seasons than in warmer seasons. : Increasing wind speeds will be negatively associated with observed home radon values.

: Lower precipitation values will be positively associated with observed home radon values. Background Kentucky experiences all 4 distinct seasons New studies suggest radon exposure associated with skin cancer mortality and breast cancer Synergistic relationship with tobacco smoke

The most serious environmental health hazard threatening American households Methods-Design Secondary analysis of existing data sources BREATHE Home radon values from short term test kits,1990- 2015

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Data Wind, Temperature and Precipitation 119 Counties with Temperature and Precipitation data 8 Counties with Wind data Methods-Measurement Medians used as summary scores

Variability and potential for out-ofrange values Medians not influenced by extreme values on either end JanuaryMarch OctoberDecembe r Seaso n JulySeptemb er AprilJune

Methods-Statistical Analysis SAS Version 9.4 An alpha of .05 used in inferential testing Median radon values log transformed Longitudinal Mixed Model for repeated measures

Post-hoc pairwise comparisons of geometric means Two Models 116County Model 8-County Model Precipitatio n Precipitatio n

Season Season Time Variable Wind Time Variable Observations Observations Results

116-County Model Seasonality Time 8-County Model Seasonality Wind Precipitation not significant (p>0.05) in either model Positive trend

Results Strengths and Limitations Primary Strengths Large radon value dataset over a 26-year time period. Inclusion of weather data during the same 26 year time period.

Primary limitations Lack of wind data, n=8 counties Lack of consistently reliable data for all study variables Conclusions Radon testing should be performed during typical weather conditions.

It is beneficial to test for radon during the months of October-March (in a place like Kentucky) The observations made in this study are valuable to public health practitioners, environmentalists, radon testers and mitigators, and homeowners. Sources 1. Khan MS. Radon in the Dwellings: Causes and Prevention. International Annals of Science. 2017;3(1):1-5. 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lung cancer and the environment. 2016.

3. Butler KM. Access to Free Home Test Kits for Radon and Secondhand Smoke to Reduce Environmental Risks for Lung Cancer. Journal of Environmental Health. 2018;81(3). 4. Citizen's Guide to Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon. 2005. 5. Hahn EJ, Gokun Y, Andrews Jr WM, et al. Radon potential, geologic formations, and lung cancer risk. Preventive medicine reports. 2015;2:342-346. 6. Sharman G. Seasonal and spatial variations in Rn-222 and Rn-220 in soil gas, and implications for indoor radon levels. Environmental geochemistry and health. 1992;14(4):113-120. 7. Ball T, Cameron D, Colman T, Roberts P. Behaviour of radon in the geological environment: a review. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. 1991;24(2):169-182. 8. Denman AR, Crockett RGM, Groves-Kirkby CJ, Phillips PS, Gillmore GK, Woolridge AC. The value of Seasonal Correction Factors in assessing the health risk from domestic radonA case study in Northamptonshire, UK. Environment International. 2007;33(1):34-44. 9. Shleien B, Ruttenber AJ, Sage M. Epidemiologic Studies of Cancer in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities. Health Physics. 1991;61(6):699-713. 10. Chattopadhyay S, Edwards DR. Long-term trend analysis of precipitation and air temperature for Kentucky, United States. Climate. 2016;4(1):10.

11. BREATHE Radon Policy Division University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Radon data by county 2019; http://www.uky.edu/breathe/radon/radon-data-county. 12. Casey JA, Ogburn EL, Rasmussen SG, et al. Predictors of indoor radon concentrations in Pennsylvania, 19892013. Environmental health perspectives. 2015;123(11):1130. 13. Xie D, Liao M, Kearfott KJ. Influence of environmental factors on indoor radon concentration levels in the basement and ground floor of a buildinga case study. Radiation Measurements. 2015;82:52-58. 14. Vogeltanz-Holm N, Schwartz GG. Radon and lung cancer: What does the public really know? Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. 2018;192:26-31. 15. Rigby JG, La Pointe DD. Wind and barometric pressure effects on radon in two mitigated houses. Paper presented at: The 1993 International Radon Conference1993. Thank you! Questions? www.breathe.uky.edu

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