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Article

High School Students as Citizen Scientists to Decrease Radon Exposure

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UK-CARES and BREATHE, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40504 USA
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Perry County Central High School, Hazard, KY 41701, USA
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BREATHE, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40504 USA
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Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40505, USA
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Center for Environmental Genetics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA
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Fairfield Senior High School, Fairfield, OH 45014, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249178
Received: 22 October 2020 / Revised: 4 December 2020 / Accepted: 6 December 2020 / Published: 8 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community-Based Approaches for Reducing Health Inequities)
Residents in rural Kentucky (KY) and suburban Ohio (OH) expressed concerns about radon exposure and lung cancer. Although 85% of lung cancer cases are caused by tobacco smoke, radon exposure accounts for 10–15% of lung cancer cases. Academic and community members from the University of KY and the University of Cincinnati developed and pilot-tested a family-centered, youth-engaged home radon testing toolkit. The radon toolkit included radon information, and how to test, interpret, and report back findings. We educated youth as citizen scientists and their teachers in human subjects protection and home radon testing using the toolkit in the classroom. Youth citizen scientists explained the study to their parents and obtained informed consent. One hundred students were trained in human subjects protection, 27 had parental permission to be citizen scientists, and 18 homeowners completed surveys. Radon values ranged from < 14.8 Bq/m3 to 277.5 Bq/m3. Youth were interested and engaged in citizen science and this family-centered, school-based project provided a unique opportunity to further the healthy housing and quality education components of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Further research is needed to test the impact of student-led, family-centered citizen science projects in environmental health as part of school curricula. View Full-Text
Keywords: radon; citizen science; lung cancer; cancer prevention; youth-engaged radon; citizen science; lung cancer; cancer prevention; youth-engaged
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hahn, E.J.; Wilmhoff, C.; Rayens, M.K.; Conley, N.B.; Morris, E.; Larck, A.; Allen, T.; Pinney, S.M. High School Students as Citizen Scientists to Decrease Radon Exposure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249178

AMA Style

Hahn EJ, Wilmhoff C, Rayens MK, Conley NB, Morris E, Larck A, Allen T, Pinney SM. High School Students as Citizen Scientists to Decrease Radon Exposure. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(24):9178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249178

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hahn, Ellen J., Craig Wilmhoff, Mary K. Rayens, Nicholas B. Conley, Emily Morris, Angela Larck, Trista Allen, and Susan M. Pinney. 2020. "High School Students as Citizen Scientists to Decrease Radon Exposure" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 24: 9178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249178

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