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.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
This research was funded by UK-CARES through Grant P30 ES026529-02S1 and UC CEG through Grant P30 ES006096-26S1.
The following are available online at www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/24/9178/s1, Figure S1: RAD7 Photo, Table S1: Indoor and Soil Gas Radon Levels Example Report Back, Booklet S1: Radon Test Kit Booklet.
The above supplementary materials are also available for download as the additional file listed at the end of this record.
Hahn, Ellen J.; Wilmhoff, Craig; Rayens, Mary Kay; Conley, Nicholas B.; Morris, Emily; Larck, Angela; Allen, Trista; and Pinney, Susan M., "High School Students as Citizen Scientists to Decrease Radon Exposure" (2020). Nursing Faculty Publications. 50.