ATSDR Initial Study Finds Elevated Levels of Radon Gas, Radium in Polycythemia Vera Study Area in Pennsylvania

ATLANTA (7/2014)—Some homes in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties of Pennsylvania have elevated levels of radon gas in indoor air and radium in soils, according to a health consultation released today by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Researchers were unable to determine if a cluster of cases of Polycythemia Vera (PV) in people living in the counties is related to exposures to the substances.

The report provides an analysis of radiologic sampling information researchers reviewed to learn more about the possible cluster of PV cases in northeastern Pennsylvania. PV is a rare form of cancer of the blood that causes the body to make too many red blood cells. It occurs more often in men than women, and is rare in patients under age 40.

“Based on analysis of the samples, ATSDR considers the exposures to radon gas in indoor air at these homes to be of public health concern and encourages residents living in the study area to have their homes tested,” said Lora Werner, Director, ATSDR Region III. “The elevated levels of radium in soils are not considered to be a health risk but may be worthy of further study.”

At the request of ATSDR, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) collected and analyzed environmental samples within the tri-county area and ATSDR evaluated the possible health effects of exposure to the radiological elements in the samples.

The ATSDR report also found:

  • Some houses in the study area had elevated levels of radon gas in indoor air. Radon gas was also found in the private well water of some homes.
  • Soils from the study area had slightly elevated levels of radium.
  • Without additional information, ATSDR cannot determine if the cluster of cases of PV disease in the tri-county area is related to the radiological exposures observed in the environmental sampling information.

This report is part of a larger investigation of the cluster of cases of PV in northeast Pennsylvania. Overall, there are 18 projects in four areas for investigation: epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental analysis. The findings of these projects will provide information about PV and other blood disorders, as well as share information on environmental investigations in the study area.

ATSDR recommends:

  • All residents in the study area should have their homes tested for radon gas. Houses with elevated radon levels should be retested. If a home is retested and elevated radon levels continue, residents should contact the state of Pennsylvania radon program hotline at 1-800-237-2366 and request additional information on how to reduce the radon levels in the home.
  • People in homes with high levels of radon in their drinking water should contact the PADEP Radon Program for assistance. Home water supplies can be treated to reduce radon levels.

The health consultation report on radon gas and radium in the PV study area is available at:www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera.

For more information, please call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636). Please request information about: “Review of Radiological Data Measured in the Polycythemia Vera Investigation Study Area in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Counties.

Our Radon Portal – Links to Air and Water Testing -Outside of Study Area –http://www.water-research.net/index.php/radon

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ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

New PSA – Public Service Announcement Videos Pennsylvania Groundwater

The Keystone Clean Water Team would like to this opportunity to thank our current sponsors and supporters who aided in creating our first set of PSAs.   It has been a great year.   The first set of public service announcements can be found on the Organizations YouTube Site.   The Videos are as follows:

1. Getting Your Water Tested Can Cost as Little As $ 50.00 – Only Costs $ 50.00

2. Hidden Contamination in Your Water – Looks Clear – It is Ok?

3. Got Coliform Bacteria – Do NOT Panic !

4. Water Testing – It is Easy!  (Annual Water Quality Testing – Baseline Testing – Natural Gas)

5. We Could Use Some Help – Help Us Help You and Our Community !

Please share on social media, like and share our sites on facebook, and we do Tweet. Get our Educational Booklet and Check out Our Amazon Store.

Featured Product – Well Safe – Something Every Well Owner Should Have on the Shelf !

 

Thanks

Sponsors – We can use some help!

Thank You to Our Current Sponsors and Supporters
Carbon County Environmental Education Center
Greg Sorber Well Drilling –204 Niemchik Rd, Hunlock Creek, PA 18621 · (570) 477-5393
RGA Public Relations
White Knight Productions Inc.
B.F. Environmental Consultants
Practical Law and Life
Groundwater Foundation – Groundwater Guardian Program

Pennsylvania Well Owners Residents Submit Data to the Citizens Database

For 2014 – ROA Number – 2  – Citizens Database

For the past 20+ years, Mr. Brian Oram has been conducting water quality analysis, baseline testing, and conducting education programs for the citizens of Pennsylvania.  Even though our groundwater resources are one of our most important assets, there is limited data on the quality and quantity of regional groundwater. While working at Wilkes University, he helped establish the formation of a “Citizen” Groundwater and Surfacewater Database.  Even though he no longer work full-time at Wilkes University, he is working with the Keystone Clean Water Team,   Dr. Brian Redmond,  and Dr. Sid Halsor on the development, formation, and creation of this community tool.  This regional  water quality database is an unbiased warehouse of water quality data that is supported by fellow “Citizens” of this Commonwealth.   After reviewing this information, we would hope you will take action and support the PA Citizens Groundwater and Surfacewater Database and Contribute to the PA Private Well Owner and Watershed Survey, but if you outside of Pennsylvania we will still provide assistance with reviewing your data and maintain a record.  For private well owners and water systems outside of Pennsylvania, please participate in this survey.

The database will provide information about the current state of groundwater and surface water quality and serve as a basis for monitoring impacts related to Marcellus gas drilling and other activity in our region.  The purpose of our database is twofold. We will use it to help us better understand the current and future groundwater and surface water quality for the region. The database will also be used to generate educational materials relating to regional water quality. The database is for research and education purposes, and will not be sold or used for any commercial purpose. The database is managed by representatives of the Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Department at Wilkes University, i.e., Dr. Brian Redmond and Dr. Sid Halsor.  To protect your privacy, the research database file will only include the testing results, zip code, general information on well or water source, and the latitude and longitude of the sampling site. Your name, address, or other contact information will NOT be included within the database.

To learn More – go to Citizen Science and the Citizen Groundwater/ Surfacewater Database– The Concept

You can send a copy of your certified testing data- It is FREE!

In order to participate in this process, please do the following:

1. Information Document about the Program (Download a copy – fill it out -Please Keep for Your Reference).
2. Download a copy of the Consent Form to release to the Database and Sign and Return.
3. Send a copy of your certified laboratory testing results with Chain-of-Custody Documents.
4. Mail this information to:

Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Keystone Clean Water Team
15 Hillcrest Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
Questions  – call (570) 335-1947
or send a pdf version by email to bfenviro@ptd.net.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Waiting on Official Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

Citizen Science and the Citizen Groundwater/ Surfacewater Database The Concept- The Need- The Purpose The Private Well Owner Outreach Program in Pennsylvania by Mr. Brian Oram, PG

The Carbon County Groundwater Guardians – Support the Citizen Groundwater and Surfacewater Database.  Here is a quick summary.

We are working with Mr. Brian Oram, Dr. Brian Redmond and Dr. Sid Halsor on the development, formation, and creation of this community tool.  This regional  water quality database is an unbiased warehouse of water quality data that is supported by fellow “Citizens” of this Commonwealth.  The database will provide information about the current state of groundwater and surface water quality and serve as a basis for monitoring impacts related to Marcellus gas drilling and other activity in our region. The database initiative is the first of its kind in northeast Pennsylvania and the initial database targeted private wells in Luzerne and Columbia Counties, but we are reaching out to build partnerships throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania so the database can include other counties in the area, i.e., Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe,  Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Sullivan, Wayne, and Wyoming.

The purpose of our database is twofold.

1) We will use it to help us better understand the current and future groundwater and surface water quality for the region. The database will also be used to generate educational materials relating to regional water quality.

2) The database is for research and education purposes, and will not be sold or used for any commercial purpose. The database is managed by Mr. Brian Oram,  Dr. Brian Redmond and Dr. Sid Halsor.

To protect your privacy, the research database file will only include the testing results, zip code, general information on well or water source, and the latitude and longitude of the sampling site. Your name, address, or other contact information will NOT be included within the database.

After reviewing this information, we would hope you will take action and support the PA Citizens Groundwater and Surfacewater Database.

To Contribute – Send NO MONEY – JUST Certified Data !

In order to participate in this process, please do the following:

1. Information Document about the Program (Download a copy – fill it out -Please Keep for Your Reference).
2. Download a copy of the Consent Form to release to the Database and Sign and Return.
3. Send a copy of your certified laboratory testing results with Chain-of-Custody Documents.
4. Mail this information to:

Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Citizen Outreach Program
15 Hillcrest Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
Questions  – call (570) 335-1947
or send a pdf version by email to bfenviro@ptd.net.

We are attempting to schedule Educational Outreach Programs about the database and private well owner training/monitoring programs. To schedule a training event, please use our contact us form.

Other Programs

1. PA Private Well Owner Survey
2. Private Well Owner Survey – US (All other states)

Volunteer
We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law..  Unsolicited donations are appreciated.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).