I had a table at the first Alaska Health Fair and what a variety of topics were present. Blood testing, an essential oil information, mental health non-profits, State of Alaska Homeland Security all had tables. Healthy homes topical publications (carbon monoxide, energy efficiency, safe space heating, preparing your home for disasters, preparing mobile homes for winter, etc…) topped the Cooperative Extension table along with Alaska Center for Energy and Power items. The centerpiece however was radon.
I was impressed in talking with passers 1) how many didn’t realize there was still an Anchorage office -and were excited to hear, 2) the number who knew about radon yet who had not tested their current homes! Once describing the lung cancer problems associated with radon exposure (the second cause only next to tobacco smoke), many visibly were effected. With the sheer financial consideration of a ~$30 test letting you know if you should spend several hours of sweat equity and materials to keep radon out it seems like testing would be more pronounced; compared to the cost of one visit to the oncologist.
I’m glad to get the word out about radon at health fairs (or shows like the geologically based one last month). With a EPA grant to create a state database for Department of Health I’ve been also taking the opportunity to make contacts at the show to supply kits and expertise so that we can use the data to load this first of a kind information storage.
There is most likely a health fair this spring in a community near yours- if not in yours! If you go see if I have a table, or one of our partners such as American Lung Association of Alaska or the Department of Natural Resources. And be sure above all to make arrangements with us to test your home if it hasn’t been done recently.