Survey results from attendees and exhibitors overwhelmingly indicate the 2021 AARST International Radon and Vapor Intrusion Symposium surpassed all expectations. From October 11-13th, close to 300 radon and chemical VI professionals connected at the 35th annual symposium in Bethesda, Maryland where over fifty speakers presented on new technology, building science, policy updates, ANSI-AARST Standard updates and more. Concerned with safety and COVID protocols, attendees and organizers made every effort to keep the in-person gathering as safe as possible.

This year we had twelve new exhibitors among 50 booths! Special thanks to our exhibitors and sponsors who are such a vital contribution to the event – we couldn’t do it without you. A popular feature was or Vendor Learning Lab track; 30-minute new-product demonstrations, tips sessions presented in a more intimate environment than the exhibit hall.

The annual symposium is typically held as a joint conference with the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) who typically attract over 100 attendees to their conference. But, because of COVID, most state and tribal employees were restricted from travel, forcing CRCPD to cancel their in-person training and go all-virtual. To save the joint participation, AARST successfully live-streamed Tuesday’s sessions to the CRCPD attendees and integrated their speakers in remotely. The production crew a fabulous job!

Every presentation at this year’s symposium was recorded. The Planning Committee knew it would be impossible for in-person attendees to attend every session (sometimes, four session tracks were running simultaneously). They also planned access for those who were unable or uncomfortable to attend in-person; AARST will be launching an on-demand ticket for those interested in learning remotely.

As always, all sessions were peer-reviewed and considered based on association goals, current trends in technology development and field practices, advances in research, keener understanding of radon exposure affects, and international studies. An entire vapor intrusion track was added to introduce radon professionals to a growing market Calls for Abstracts, presentations, and courses are distributed beginning in December of each year. By this last May, the Planning Committee and Work Groups had over forty proposals to evaluate, not including the sessions regarding policy matters important to our industry.

As is tradition, AARST hosted private training classes on the Sunday before Opening Day for extra education. Of the eight pre-conference classes available, six were newly developed and offered for the first time.

In all, sixty speakers presented on seventy-eight topics over three and a half days. Attendees could earn CE towards certification upwards of 12-20 credits.

It takes a slew of dedicated, hardworking volunteers and staff working together throughout the year prior to produce our annual symposium. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge the team of dedicated professionals who care enough to contribute their valuable time to creating a successful program. Called into test or mitigate a home where a never-smoker was just diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer, many of our dedicated volunteers have firsthand experience with families impacted by radon exposure.  Mere thanks are never enough for the hours of work everyone puts into the creation and production of this annual event. We all benefit from their commitment.

Symposium Planning Committee:

Dawn Oggier (Chair), Wes Hodgden (Tech Sessions Lead), Jan Fisher and Laurie Chilcote (Exhibitor Leads), Brent Ulbert (Social Events Lead), Ashley Falco (Marketing Lead), Kirsten Schmidt (Volunteer Lead), Shannon Cory (AV Lead), Kyle Hoylman (AARST President)

Tech Sessions Work Group: Crystal Lytle, Owen Reese, Bruce Snead, Dr. Phil Jenkins, Tony McDonald

Science & Research/Proceedings Review Committee:

Dr. Mike Kitto (Science and Research Chair/ Proceedings Editor), Dr. Uttam Saha, Dr. Phil Jenkins, Kevin Stewart, Dr. Leo Moorman

Onsite Volunteers: Marcey Vescio, David Gillay, Vicki Bhatt, Kathy Smit, Shad Evans, Matt Hendrick, David Metzger, ReveAnn Ellrott, Jim Emanuels, Chad Robinson, George Schambach, Dr. Darioush Ghahremani, Brian Hanson, Kristina Snyder, Laura Wallace, Carolyn Koke, Dave Kapturowski, Christopher Ferguson

(Our sincere apologies if we missed anyone)