Exposure to radon is a leading cause of lung cancer worldwide. However, few test their homes for radon. There is a need to increase access to radon testing and decrease radon exposure. This longitudinal, mixed-methods study using a citizen science approach recruited and trained a convenience sample of 60 non-scientist homeowners from four rural Kentucky counties to test their homes for radon using a low-cost continuous radon detector, report back findings, and participate in a focus group to assess their testing experience. The aim was to evaluate changes in environmental health literacy (EHL) and efficacy over time. Participants completed online surveys at baseline, post-testing, and 4-5 months later to evaluate EHL, response efficacy, health information efficacy, and self-efficacy related to radon testing and mitigation. Mixed modeling for repeated measures evaluated changes over time. Citizen scientists reported a significant increase in EHL, health information efficacy, and radon testing self-efficacy over time. While there was a significant increase in citizen scientists' confidence in their perceived ability to contact a radon mitigation professional, there was no change over time in citizen scientists' beliefs that radon mitigation would reduce the threat of radon exposure, nor was there a change in their capacity to hire a radon mitigation professional. Further research is needed to understand the role of citizen science in home radon mitigation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The project described was supported in part by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1TR001998. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
This project is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) through Grant R01 ES030380 and supported in part by Grant P30 ES026529. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIEHS.
© 2022 The Author(s).
- citizen science
- environmental health
- health literacy
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