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Risk-reduction strategies for expanding radon care-planning with vulnerable groups

Objectives: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Residential radon is the cause of approximately 21,000 U.S. lung cancer deaths each year. Dangerous levels of radon are just as likely to be found in low-rise apartments and townhomes as single-family homes in the same area. The preferred radon mitigation strategy can be expensive and requires structural modifications to the home. The public health nurse (PHN) needs a collection of low-cost alternatives when working with low-income families or families who rent their homes.

Method: A review of the literature was performed to identify evidence-based methods to reduce radon risk with vulnerable populations.

Results: Fourteen recommendations for radon risk reduction were categorized into four strategies. Nine additional activities for raising awareness and increasing testing were also included.

Discussion: The results pair the PHN with practical interventions and the underlying rationale to develop radon careplans with vulnerable families across housing types. The PHN has both the competence and the access to help families reduce their exposure to this potent carcinogen.