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Assessing the Impact of Housing Features and Environmental Factors on Home Indoor Radon Concentration Levels on the Navajo Nation

1
Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc., 7001 Prospect Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, USA
2
Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Box 357236, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Health Sciences Building, F-250D, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
3
Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Box 354695, 4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082813
Received: 21 February 2020 / Revised: 12 April 2020 / Accepted: 15 April 2020 / Published: 19 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Uranium is naturally found in the environment as a radioactive metal element with high concentrations in the Southwestern US. In this region is the Navajo Nation, which spans approximately 69,930 square kilometers. A decay product of uranium is radon gas, a lung carcinogen that has no color, odor, or taste. Radon gas may pass from soil into homes; and, indoor accumulation has been associated with geographical location, seasonality, home construction materials, and home ventilation. A home and indoor radon survey was conducted from November 2014 through May 2015, with volunteers who reported residence on the Navajo Nation. Home geolocation, structural characteristics, temperature (°C) during radon testing, and elevation (meters) were recorded. Short-term indoor radon kits were used to measure indoor radon levels. 51 homes were measured for indoor radon levels, with an arithmetic mean concentration of 60.5 Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3) (SD = 42.7). The mean indoor radon concentrations (Bq/m3) by house type were: mobile, 29.0 (SD = 22.9); wood, 58.6 (SD = 36.0); hogan, 74.0 (SD = 0.0); homes constructed of cement and wood, 82.6 (SD = 3.5); and homes constructed of concrete and cement, 105.7 (SD = 55.8). A key observation is that house construction type appears to be associated with the mean home indoor radon concentration. This observation has been published in that the basic structural make-up of the home may affect home ventilation and therefore indoor radon concentration levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: Navajo Nation; Community Uranium Exposure Journey to Healing Program; radon exposure; indoor air quality; home assessment; Tribal Healthy Homes; radon measurements Navajo Nation; Community Uranium Exposure Journey to Healing Program; radon exposure; indoor air quality; home assessment; Tribal Healthy Homes; radon measurements
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yazzie, S.A.; Davis, S.; Seixas, N.; Yost, M.G. Assessing the Impact of Housing Features and Environmental Factors on Home Indoor Radon Concentration Levels on the Navajo Nation. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2813. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082813

AMA Style

Yazzie SA, Davis S, Seixas N, Yost MG. Assessing the Impact of Housing Features and Environmental Factors on Home Indoor Radon Concentration Levels on the Navajo Nation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(8):2813. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082813

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yazzie, Sheldwin A.; Davis, Scott; Seixas, Noah; Yost, Michael G. 2020. "Assessing the Impact of Housing Features and Environmental Factors on Home Indoor Radon Concentration Levels on the Navajo Nation" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 8: 2813. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082813

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