Closeup of David J. Allard
David J. Allard

RICHLAND, Wash. – Past and ongoing efforts to address radium contaminated sites in Pennsylvania, which influenced future protocols and uses for radium around the world, will be discussed as part of a Herbert M. Parker lecture that will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, via YouTube.

The lecture will be presented live on the Washington State University Tri-Cities YouTube channel. It is free and open to the public.

David J. Allard, director of the Pennsylvania State Bureau of Radiation Protection, will address the historical benefits of radium, as well as its health effects on workers and members of the public. The presentation will also illustrate how the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has led in radium-related research and controls, including the ongoing efforts to monitor and mitigate radon in buildings from natural-occurring radium in soil, as well as a recent extensive evaluation of radium that returns with oil and gas production.

“David will address the question of whether radium has been a miracle or a menace,” said Wayne Glines, president of the board of trustees for the Herbert M. Parker Foundation. “Radium has had many benefits in treating cancer and other areas, but it has also served as a detriment in others. This presentation will provide a great look into the origins of the use of radium and its impact on our world.”

As the Pennsylvania state director for the Bureau of Radiation Protection, Allard is responsible for accelerator, X-ray, environmental surveillance, nuclear safety, radiological emergency response, radioactive materials, decommissioning and site clean-up, low-level radioactive waste and radon programs. He is the governor’s official liaison to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and technical lead on oil and gas radium, as well as industry-generated naturally and technologically-enhanced radioactive material issues.

Visit the Parker Foundation website to learn more.