Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 1249–1255 | Cite as

A qualitative study of Realtor knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to radon health effects: implications for comprehensive cancer control

  • Behnoosh MominEmail author
  • Christina McNaughton
  • Joseph D. Galanek
  • Antonio Neri
  • M. Shayne Gallaway
  • Mary Puckett
Original paper



Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and radon exposure is the second leading risk factor. Fewer than 25% of existing U.S. homes have been tested for radon, and only 5–10% of new homes use some form of radon prevention.


This qualitative study sought to determine radon-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices among Realtors to inform cancer control activities at local and state levels.


We conducted focus groups with Realtors in four states to collect information about knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding radon.


Realtors reported obtaining information on radon in similar ways, being aware of radon and its characteristics, and dealing with radon issues as a normal part of home sales. Differences in attitudes toward testing varied across states. Realtors in states with radon policies generally expressed more positive attitudes toward testing than those in states without policies. Radon mitigation was identified as an added expense to buyers and sellers. Realtors cited concerns about the reliability and credibility of mitigation systems and installers.


These findings suggest that attitudes and practices vary among Realtors and that additional educational resources about radon as a cancer risk factor may be beneficial. When comprehensive cancer control programs update their plans, they may want to add objectives, strategies, or activities to reduce radon exposure and prevent lung cancer. These activities could include partnering with Realtors to improve their knowledge, attitudes, and practices about radon, as well as developing and distributing radon educational resources.


Radon Cancer Lung Environment 



The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Behnoosh Momin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christina McNaughton
    • 2
  • Joseph D. Galanek
    • 3
  • Antonio Neri
    • 4
  • M. Shayne Gallaway
    • 1
  • Mary Puckett
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cancer Prevention and ControlCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.SciMetrika, LLCDurhamUSA
  3. 3.ICFAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory ServicesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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