Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Deborah Slawson

Committee Members

Hadii Mamudu, Stacy Stanifer, Megan Quinn


This dissertation explored the multifaceted issue of radon exposure and its connection to lung cancer, focusing on knowledge gaps and proposing mitigation strategies. Despite extensive research, inconsistencies persist in understanding the health impacts, public awareness, and effective mitigation of radon, particularly in regions like Tennessee that are disproportionately burdened by high radon levels. This work addresses this gap by integrating findings from three distinct studies: a scoping review, a cross-sectional survey, and a policy analysis.

The review examined national literature about residential radon exposure, revealing variations in exposure levels and conflicting evidence regarding the risk of lung cancer. The cross-sectional study investigated radon Environmental Health Literacy (EHL) and testing behavior among Health Council participants in Northeast Tennessee, which uncovered disparities and associated risk factors. Finally, the policy analysis examined existing radon regulations across federal, state, and local levels, focusing on Tennessee, and proposed strategies for improvement, including standardized licensing for radon professionals.

The combined findings of this study highlight the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to address radon challenges effectively in Tennessee. The review underlines the variability in exposure-risk associations, while the survey emphasizes the importance of tailored educational interventions to improve awareness and ameliorate testing rates. The policy analysis advocates for standardized certification to ensure reliable radon services in Tennessee.

Overall, this dissertation offers valuable insights into radon's impact on public health and proposes strategies for mitigation through improved regulations, increased awareness initiatives, and targeted interventions, which all depends on collaborative efforts between stakeholders.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, June 15, 2025