This paper examines the decision problems associated with measurement and remediation of environmental hazards, using the example of indoor radon (a carcinogen) as a case study. Innovative methods developed here include (1) the use of results from a previous hierarchical statistical analysis to obtain probability distributions with local variation in both predictions and uncertainties, (2) graphical methods to display the aggregate consequences of decisions by individuals and (3) alternative parameterizations for individual variation in the dollar value of a given reduction in risk. We perform costbenefit analyses for a variety of decision strategies, as a function of home types and geography, so that measurement and remediation can be recommended where it is most effective. We also briefly discuss the sensitivity of policy recommendations and outcomes to uncertainty in inputs. For the home radon example, we estimate that if the recommended decision rule were applied to all houses in the United States, it would be possible to save the same number of lives as with the current official recommendations for about 40% less cost.
"Analysis of Local Decisions Using Hierarchical Modeling, Applied to Home Radon Measurement and Remediation." Statist. Sci. 14 (3) 305 - 337, August 1999. https://doi.org/10.1214/ss/1009212411