Radon research collaboration between the Kentucky Geological Survey and the University of Kentucky College of Nursing: An innovative partnership

Bethany L. Overfield, William M. Andrews, Heather Robertson, Mary Kay Rayens, Ellen J. Hahn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


To better understand regional variations in radon occurrences, the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) is working in partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Nursing's Clean Indoor Air Partnership to examine spatial and statistical associations between residential radon measurements and near-surface geologic rock formations that may serve as a radon source or pathway. A primary goal is to understand potential risk for population-level radon exposure. The Clean Indoor Air Partnership has been investigating the associations among radon prevalence, secondhand smoke, and lung cancer risk reduction. KGS and faculty in the College of Nursing formed a partnership to better understand the spatial variability of radon incidence by using a geologically referenced radon data set. Two studies have taken place, and one is currently under way. To facilitate the collaboration, a pilot study by KGS compared radon values to geologic formations in Boyle County, Kentucky. This study helped to communicate radon occurrence less in terms of political boundaries and more in terms of physical phenomena. The next phase of collaboration is a statistical analysis of the radon data in higher-population areas (central and northern Kentucky) to defi ne those geologic units spatially associated with the high radon values. This will enable College of Nursing researchers to systematically target areas with the most potential for high radon exposure levels. The latest collaboration will create fi ve county maps using residential radon testing values (supplied by the College of Nursing) to advance radon education and awareness and reduce lung cancer risk in Kentucky.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoscience for the Public Good and Global Development
Subtitle of host publicationToward a Sustainable Future
EditorsJeffrey K. Greenberg, Gregory R. Wessel
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780813725208
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America
ISSN (Print)0072-1077

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Geological Society of America. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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