Why people (not)protect from radon? New RadoNorm article published in the Frontiers of Public Health

written by Nadja Železnik
20. Aug 2023
Categories: Papers

Evidence consistently indicates that testing for radon and subsequent home mitigation rates are generally low in many countries, even when indoor radon concentrations can be cost-effectively reduced. The new RadoNorm study, conducted by Hevey David, Perko Tanja, Martell Meritxell, Bradley Gary, Apers Sofie, and Rovenská Katerina and published in Frontiers of Public Health (IF 5.3), reports on “A Psycho-Social-Environmental Lens on Radon Air Pollutant: Authorities’, Mitigation Contractors’, and Residents’ Perceptions of Barriers and Facilitators to Domestic Radon Mitigation.” The study identified various facilitators to radon mitigation, employing a multi-method approach to gather data from various stakeholders, including online surveys, content analysis of legal documents, group interviews, workshops, and focus groups.

Results demonstrate, that authorities, contractors, and residents identified several facilitators to radon mitigation, including legal requirements for mitigation, awareness campaigns, low mitigation costs, availability of financial support, accreditation of mitigation contractors, and a perception of radon as a health threat. However, barriers to mitigation were also identified, such as a lack of awareness, fragmented mitigation processes, and inadequate communication between stakeholders. The findings underscore that radon risk management constitutes a complex “Wicked” problem – intricate policy challenges necessitating a coordinated, cross-government response where no obvious solution exists. For example, all stakeholders emphasized the importance of campaigns to increase awareness of radon and risk perception; however, even with high awareness and perceived risk, mitigation rates remain low. Moreover, while all stakeholders acknowledged the need for financial support for radon mitigation, it should be noted that evidence indicates low levels of uptake even when such support mechanisms are available. The complexity of these issues implies that, although the ultimate goal (e.g., radon mitigation) is clear, no straightforward solution exists to achieve it. Instead, a solution may need to be developed incrementally through a psycho-social-environmental lens, utilizing an iterative process involving stakeholders at all levels to craft an integrated approach to radon mitigation.

Full article is open access and available at:

Hevey D, Perko T, Martell M, Bradley G, Apers S and Rovenská KN (2023) A psycho-social-environmental lens on radon air pollutant: authorities’, mitigation contractors’, and residents’ perceptions of barriers and facilitators to domestic radon mitigation. Front. Public Health 11:1252804. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1252804

Frontiers | A psycho-social-environmental lens on radon air pollutant: authorities’, mitigation contractors’, and residents’ perceptions of barriers and facilitators to domestic radon mitigation (frontiersin.org)

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    • Nadja Železnik

      Thank you for your nice words.

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