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Scientists and Investigators Cite Need for Radon Regulation to Prevent Lung Cancer- Call Current EPA Efforts Ineffective
Date:1/22/2009

blank" title="Dr. William R. Field">Dr. William R. Field, a professor and Epidemiologist at the University of Iowa told the panel, "There is precedent for legislating practices to limit exposure to toxins in construction. The prohibitive use of lead-based paint in the U.S. is an example. The requirement of radon-resistant construction methods, at an approximate cost of $500 per home, is cost-effective when one considers potential savings in health care expenditures from disease prevention. "

Dr. James B. Burch, an epidemiologist at the Arnold School of Public Health, urged the panel for a national radon standard that is enforceable. Captain Susan M. Conrath of the U.S. Public Health Service (EPA) testified that voluntary efforts are not enough and suggests requiring testing during real estate transactions.

Dr. Field stated in his presentation, "In a similar manner to smoking, where we are essentially allowing a 'bioterrorist within' to attack over a million Americans each year, radon is a 'dirty bomb' within our homes that attacks millions of people each year. Numerous cost/benefit analysies have clearly indicated that both mitigation of existing homes and adopting radon resistant new construction features can be justified on a national level."

But, according to the OIG report, "The potential loss of a sale represents a disincentive for real estate agents and sellers to conduct radon tests during real estate transactions. Added expense represents a disincentive for builders to use radon-resistant new construction."

Real estate agents have historically opposed proposed requirements for a radon test prior to purchase. According to the Associate General Counsel of the National Association of Realtors, testing for radon and/or disclosing test results during a real estate transaction adds an additional layer to an already taxing house buying process. This has created a disincentive for real estate ag
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