Date of Award

Winter 12-29-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Terrence F. Cahill, Ed.D

Committee Member

Michelle D'Abundo, Ph.D

Committee Member

Ning Jackie Zhang, Ph.D


radon gas exposure, public health workers, knowledge, beliefs, personal practices, professional practices.


Radon gas exposure is the highest cause of lung cancer among people that never smoked in the United States. People exposed to elevated levels of radon had a higher risk of developing lung cancer. Achieving the long term goal of the Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA) of 1988 require a combined efforts of government agencies. Public health workers are change agents and their role in protecting and improving the health of their communities are well documented. This study created and utilized a multi question survey, the Public Health Workers Radon Assessment Instrument (PHWRAI) to explore knowledge, beliefs, personal and professional practices about radon exposure among public health workers. This study found significant differences in professional practices, knowledge, beliefs and personal practices about radon gas exposure among public health workers. This study also found significant relationships between knowledge and professional practices; knowledge and personal practices; beliefs and professional practices; personal and professional practices about radon gas exposure among public health workers. Further, the study found that even though public health workers had knowledge and beliefs about radon gas exposure, it did not translate into personal practices of protecting themselves and their families from radon gas exposure or professional practices of informing, educating and creating awareness in the public about radon gas exposure as part of their job responsibility. These findings suggest that the role of public health workers in disseminating environmental hazards to the communities they serve should be well-defined and be part of a strategy to be in compliance with the IRAA of 1988.