Health officials gather to discuss the effects of radon and better radon detection

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. - Health officials from across the state gathered to learn more about a silent, odorless threat to homes across the nation.

The New York State Radon Stakeholders meeting was held Thursday at Traditions at the Glen, featuring representatives from AARST, or the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists.

Health officials, contractors, realtors and radon mitigation companies discussed the effects of radon and ways to better detect it.

Radon is formed as a result of the radioactive decay of uranium and radium which rises from the ground and can seep into homes causing lung cancer over time.

One issue that was discussed was the need for state legislation to license radon mitigation workers, something not currently on the books.

"We see those people all the time.  They don't do it correctly and a lot of times they actually make it worse," said NYS AARST President George Schambach.

AARST Executive Director Dallas Jones said, "We license people who cut our hair and we license people that do our nails, but we don't license people that test for radioactivity in a home or how to fix it?  When you think about it, it doesn't make sense at all."

Once that is approved, Schambach and Jones say it could clear the way for mandatory radon testing for homes on the market.

Mitigation licensing is required in other states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.

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