EPA Information About Radon

Radon Could Be a Serious Threat to Your School

EPA’s Evaluation

EPA - every school should take this simple test

Chances are you’ve already heard of radon – a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.

But what you might not have heard is that high levels have been found in a number of schools across the country. Therefore, it is important that students, teachers, and parents be aware that a potential problem could exist in their school. 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 seventy thousand (70,000) schoolrooms in use today have high short-term radon levels.

The only way to determine if a problem exists is to test for it. Having your school tested for radon is something you may want to discuss with your school officials. Because as real as the threat of radon is, the good news is that the problem can be solved.

EPA’s national survey of schools produced some alarming results about concentrations in our children’s classrooms. Public awareness must be raised about the hazards of radon to hasten efforts to reduce the danger. All schools must be tested to determine if there is a problem, and schools must inform parents of the results. We cannot ignore this problem.”  Kathryn Whitfill, National PTA President.

EPA - radon could be a serious threat in your school
The EPA ranks indoor radon among the most serious environmental health problems facing us today. After smoking, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States causing an estimated fourteen thousand (14,000) lung cancer deaths a year.Radon is a naturally occurring gas that seeps into buildings from the surrounding soil. In some cases, well water may be a source of radon.You can’t see, taste, or smell radon. In fact, the only way to discover if high levels of radon are present is through testing.All students have the right to expect a safe and healthy environment. Teachers and other school employees should encourage their schools to conduct radon tests and undertake all necessary corrective actions. The health of our children demands no less.  Keith Geiger, NEA President.

Full document available here:

http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/schoolrn.html