Public response to radon information in the pacific northwest

Michael C. Baechler, Jeffrey E. Englin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Most work on the perception of risk from radon is based on studies of limited populations. This paper assesses data from a relatively far reaching program to evaluate what determinants affect public response. The Bonneville Power Administration’s radon education, monitoring, and mitigation program has reached over 100,000 households in the Pacific Northwest. We review the responses these households have had to the program to assess its effectiveness in encouraging homeowners to monitor for radon and, where needed, to install mitigation. Program evaluations that touch on the radon information program suggest that homeowners read and understand a 25-page booklet about indoor air quality. Portions of the program have a penetration rate of 42%, which is comparable to that of programs in regions with the highest radon exposures, though Pacific Northwest exposures are relatively low. We apply a logit regression model to Bonneville’s radon data base, which suggests that program participants respond to the program’s maturity and average radon exposure in geographic areas. We use these data to describe Bonneville’s program and briefly compare it with similar efforts in the United States, and extract lessons from these programs to explain Bonneville’s experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Studies
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Indoor air quality
  • radon
  • risk communication
  • risk perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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