Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
RADON IN HOMES OF THE PORTLAND, OREGON AREA: RADON DATA FROM LOCAL RADON TESTING COMPANIES COLLECTED BY CRM (CONTINUOUS RADON MEASUREMENT) MACHINES
Students from the Department of Geology at Portland State University paired up with the Oregon Health Authority to better understand radon gas values in homes of the Portland metropolitan area. This study focuses on radon values collected by continuous radon measurement (CRM) machines, taken by local radon testing companies. The local companies participating in this study include Alpha Environmental Services, Inc., Cascade Radon, Environmental Works, The House Detectives, LLC, and Soil Solutions Environmental Services, Inc. In total, 2491 radon readings spanning across 77 zip codes were collected from local companies in the Portland metropolitan area. The maximum value, average value, percentage of homes greater than 4 pCi/L and total rank sum was calculated and used to determine the overall radon potential for each zip code (Burns et al., 1998). A list and four maps were produced showing the results from each category. Out of the total records, 24 zip codes resulted in high radon potential and the average reading for the entire Portland Metropolitan area was 3.7 pCi/L. High potential zip codes are thought to be a result of sand and gravel (Missoula Flood deposits) and faults present in the subsurface. The CRM data was compared with both long-term and short-term data provided by the Oregon Health Authority to validate radon potentials in each zip code. If a home is located in a zip code with high or moderate radon potential across two types of data sets, it is recommended that those homes be tested for radon gas.