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2018 National Radon Action Month and Occupational Exposure Concerns

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry of the need to identify and address occupational radon exposure risks.

Lansing, MI – WEBWIRE

Workers could be exposed to elevated levels of radon while on the job depending on their occupation and where they spend their time.

January has been designated as National Radon Action Month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that has been found in buildings across the globe. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.
Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon can even enter a building through well water. Exposure to elevated levels of radon over time may increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer. The EPA states that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in the United States and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that radon causes between 6% and 15% of lung cancers worldwide.
While exposure to radon in the home is for many their main exposure route, the work environment is also a concern for many employees.  The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) lists a number of occupations where workers could be at increased risk of radon exposure.  At-risk workers range from miners, excavators and water treatment operators to workers involved with oil refineries, utilities and subway tunnels to name a few.
“Workers could be exposed to elevated levels of radon while on the job depending on their occupation and where they spend their time,” said Jeffrey Miller, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “Occupational exposure to elevated radon levels is not just an issue for miners and underground utility workers, high levels of radon can potentially be found in the lower levels of almost any type of building. These could include office buildings, manufacturing facilities, hospitals and schools. Testing is the only way to know for sure if there are elevated levels of radon present and if issues are identified, mitigation actions can be implemented to reduce radon levels.”
Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) are well versed in health risk analysis, hazard communication, engineering controls and ventilation, and air sampling and instrumentational analysis. These skills are instrumental for identifying, preventing and responding to radon issues in occupational and community environments. Their knowledge of radiation also affords them the ability to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control radon exposure risks.
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit, email or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene ®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world’s largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement.  Currently, more than 6900 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® credential.

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 Industrial Hygiene
 Occupational Safety
 Occupational Health

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