Degree Name

MSEH (Master of Science in Environmental Health)


Environmental Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kurt Maier

Committee Members

Creg S. Bishop, John H. Kalbfleisch


Effective risk communication is based on appropriate risk characterization. A reevaluation of the 1987 US EPA radon risk categorization of Unicoi County Tennessee was conducted using in-home radon concentrations, determined in a long-term monitoring study. Radon concentrations were measured in 69 homes using Electret Passive Environmental Radon Monitors (E-PERM’s), following standard methods. Radon concentrations determined in this study (avg. 4.03 ± 3.04) were significantly higher than those measured in the USEPA study (avg. 1.96 ± 1.08). Using this study’s data, the risk categorization was recalculated with the US EPA Radon Index Matrix Model. The model re-categorized Unicoi County from a moderate to a high risk zone classification. These results suggest that the health risks associated with in-home radon concentrations are inaccurately categorized and communicated to the citizens of Unicoi County, Tennessee.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.