Critical Opportunities

Critical Opportunities for Public Health Law gives participants – researchers, lawyers, doctors, public health officers and others – just five minutes to make their pitch for an evidence-based legal remedy to a critical public health problem. PHLR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have compiled this library of big ideas with evidence-based solutions just waiting to be implemented. Guidelines for hosting a session can be found here.

Mandatory Testing of Radon Levels in For-Sale Homes

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that approximately 21,000 lung cancer cases per year in the United States are caused by exposure to radon gas in homes. In this Critical Opportunities presentation, Adam Finkel, ScD, from the University of Pennsylvania, suggests laws that require all sellers in high-level counties to test for and disclose radon levels as a condition of sale. He also suggests laws that require that ventilation fans be installed at the seller’s expense when tests reveal radon levels above the actionable level.

Reducing Crime by Encouraging Residential Zoning in Commercial Areas

In this Critical Opportunities presentation, James Anderson, JD, from RAND Corporation, explains how city blocks that have some land parcels zoned for residential use experience substantially less crime than blocks that are zoned only for commercial or industrial uses. He suggests encouraging residential zoning in commercial areas as a way to reduce crime.


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