Edwards needs to test base housing units for the presence of radon, a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that is present in almost all soils. About half the homes on base have already been tested and results show the levels of radon are below the Environmental Protection Agency action level.
Over the coming weeks bioenvironmental engineers from the 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron will test the remainder of the homes on base.
Workers will place passive long-term monitors – called electrets – into homes and they will be left in place for 91 days.
These monitors will be placed in homes in Tamarisk Plains, Joshua Acres, Acacia Hills, Juniper Ridge, Mesquite Meadows, Palo Verde Heights, and Mountain View housing areas. A list of these homes is available on the Edwards SharePoint link: org.eis.afmc.af.mil/sites/95mdg/amds/Radon%20Sample%20Sites%20Library/Forms/AllItems.aspx.
This long-term testing will provide an accurate average radon level in the homes and will incorporate seasonal and other conditions, like building construction and soil type.
Public notification will be made regarding the results.
The long-term monitors are non-toxic and will not adversely affect anyone’s physical state, medical officials say. They contain no cameras or voice recorders and will be placed in the most appropriate and least obstructive location – usually a shelf in the master bedroom closet. Each monitor must remain undisturbed for 91 days, after which workers will return to collect the monitor and process the results.
“We ask for your assistance in this project by first, not disturbing or touching the electret; and second, letting us know if it is inadvertently disturbed – knocked off a shelf, lost, packed by movers or something else,” said Lt. Col. Tiffany Morgan, Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight Commander with the 412th AMDS.
Previous radon monitoring surveys at Edwards – which took place between 2006 and 2009 – identified the average radon level is approximately 0.9 picocuries per liter, which is less than the EPA action level of 4.0 of picocuries per liter.
If you have any questions regarding a detector in your home, please feel free to contact 2nd Lt. Anh Pham, Staff Sgt. Brent Jnofinn, or Airman 1st Class Richard Boutwell from the 412th AMDS Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight at (661) 277-3272.