Radon gas: Could it be endangering the students in your local school?
Radon, that radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer, is an issue that many of us consider, test for, and mitigate in our homes; as a result we feel we have wisely acted to protect the health and safety our families. However, we often forget that our children spend 8 hours a day, five days a week, at school, where the dangers of radon could be just as present.
In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), high levels of radon have been found in many schools across the country.
So what can you do? Start by asking your school officials, State legislators, or the local school board test your schools for radon. Professional, certified testing is readily available from The Radon Company.
Children are at greater risk from radon exposure.
Due to lung shape and size differences, children are at risk of higher estimated radiation doses than adults. Children also have breathing rates faster than those of adults.
- Risk of lung cancer in children resulting from exposure to radon may be almost twice as high as the risk to adults exposed to the same amount of radon.
- If children are also exposed to tobacco smoke, the risk of getting lung cancer increases at least 20 times.
According to the EPA, “A nationwide survey of radon levels in schools estimates that nearly one in five has at least one schoolroom with a short-term radon level above the action level of 4 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter) – the level at which EPA recommends that schools take action to reduce the level. EPA estimates that more than 70,000 schoolrooms in use today have high short-term radon levels.”
Because radon levels tend to shift higher during cold weather, a greater risk is presented to school children, as most schools are in session from Fall through Spring, over the winter months when temperatures in the United States drop to their lowest.
What about state laws regarding radon in schools?
Fortunately, legislators across the United States have begun to pass laws that will require schools and public buildings to at least test for the presence of radon.
Unfortunately, Missouri and Arkansas are not yet among those with such laws regarding radon gas in schools are on the books.
EPA recommends that all schools nationwide be tested for radon. To date, only about 20% of the schools nationwide have done some testing.
Talk to your school officials, as well as your state legislators about having your school’s classrooms tested right away, and call on The Radon Company. We are one of the only agencies in the area that are certified to conduct surveys for radon in schools and large buildings. The Radon Company can test for, and install an effective radon reduction system in your local Missouri and Arkansas schools and classrooms.