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University of Iowa News Release

April 12, 2005

Field Honored For Excellence In Radon Risk Reduction

The Indoor Environments Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) have selected R. William Field, Ph.D., associate professor of occupational and environmental health and epidemiology in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, to receive the first U.S. EPA/NEHA Individual Achievement Award for Excellence in Radon Risk Reduction.

The award, the first of its kind, recognizes Field for his individual and program achievements for designing and implementing effective radon risk reduction outreach programs. Field will receive the award at the NEHA annual educational conference and exhibition in Providence, R.I. June 26 from NEHA President James Balsamo and U.S. EPA Director of the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air Elizabeth Cotsworth.

"Dr. Field has shown outstanding success in designing and implementing a local radon risk reduction program that serves as a model for the national radon risk reduction effort," said Larry L. Marcum, manager of Research and Development/Government Affairs at NEHA. 

Field is internationally recognized for his research on novel methods to reconstruct retrospective radiation exposure. He serves on the World Health Organization Expert Panel on Radon, which is determining the world burden of radon-related disease, and he co-chairs the WHO working group on radon measurement and mitigation.

Field favors a community outreach approach to reducing the risk of radon exposure. He works collaboratively with individuals, communities, organizations and federal agencies with the overall goal of informing Americans about radon, its dangers and steps they can easily take to reduce their risks from the gas. In 2004, he assisted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with their nationwide radon awareness campaign.

"A major component of my work involves translating scientific findings so that the knowledge gained through research can become integrated and applied locally, regionally and nationally," Field said.

Radon, a radioactive, invisible, odorless gas that comes from the decay of naturally occurring uranium in the earth's soil, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. An estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are related to radon exposure, according to the U.S. EPA.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Gleeson, 319-384-4277, kate-gleeson@uiowa.edu