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Main office at Portland's Lent School closed due to high radon levels

A second round of radon testing in six rooms at four Portland schools revealed persistent very high levels of radioactive radon in the Lent School main office, so office functions have been moved to another room in the school, district officials announced late Thursday.

It is the latest in a long string of environmental safety problems revealed by officials in Oregon's largest school district this spring and summer.

Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that occurs naturally in the ground. Exposure over long periods of time can lead to lung cancer. Even when vented 24 hours a day, the Lent office gave off radon readings at three time the federal danger threshold....

Full article here: http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2016/06/main_office_at_portlands_lent.html

Cancer-causing radon gas shuts Portland school cafeteria

The cafeteria at Alliance High School in Northeast Portland has been closed after a second round of testing showed dangerously high levels of cancer-causing radon gas, Portland school district officials announced late Friday afternoon.

The test results indicate they were emailed to the school district on Tuesday; it was unclear why school district officials waited three days to make them public.

Alliance, a small alternative high school emphasizing professional-technical skills, is located on Northeast Alberta Street and serves about 200 students, mostly age 17 and older. Its building is the former Meek Elementary...

Read full article at he The Oregonian/OregonLive: http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2016/06/cancer-causing_radon_gas_shuts.html

FCPS To Vote On Radon Repairs Monday

The Fayette County School Board is expected to vote on a potential solution after identifying nine schools that tested positive for high levels of radon.

Nine schools tested positive for the gas. Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as a decay product of radium. It is also the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Early this month, radon was found in nine schools Bryan Station High School, Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy, Harrison Elementary, Leestown Middle School, Lexington Traditional Magnet School, Mary Todd Elementary, Russell Cave Elementary, SCAPA and Sandersville Elementary.

In 2015, LEX Investigates featured a story on radon testing in public schools. After testing for radon at Locust Elementary returned high levels, all 66 schools were tested.

Radon is an unseen danger

Even though this is the last day of January, it is still important to note that it is National Radon Awareness month.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, only behind tobacco smoke. It is responsible for a reported 21,000 deaths per year in the United States.

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when naturally-occurring uranium in granite bedrock decays into radium. This radium then decays to radon, a colorless, odorless gas. Radon is not harmful outside, but it can build up to damaging levels inside a house.

All of North Georgia, especially the upper third of the state, is considered to be at a moderate to high radon risk.

In Columbia and Richmond counties, an average of 4 percent of the test kits come back with elevated levels of radon.

Radon enters homes through cracks and crevices in your foundation. The air pressure inside your home acts as a vacuum, helping to pull radon up from the soil beneath.

Radon: Unmasking the Invisible Killer

Radon gas is invisible and odorless. But it reveals itself in a deadly footprint it can leave behind -- lung cancer. In fact, exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and one in 15 homes in America is at risk from elevated levels of radon. January is National Radon Action Month and the perfect time to take action to protect you and your loved ones from this invisible killer.

Understanding Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless and tasteless gas. It occurs when uranium in the soil and rock underground breaks down to form radon. As radon decays, it releases radioactive byproducts that are inhaled and can cause lung cancer. Radon enters a home through cracks in the walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings, and can build up to dangerous concentrations.

DPH urges residents to test homes for radon gas

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut State Department of Public Health is urging residents to test their homes for radon gas.

Radon gas is an odorless and invisible radioactive gas and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Health officials estimate radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.

The DPH recommends residents test their homes for radon in the winter months because this is when it tends to build up indoors.

Residents can get a free radon testing kit by completing an online form on the DPH Radon Program website.

Kits can also be purchased from the American Lung Association of New England at 1-800-LUNG-USA or at a local hardware store.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that homes with radon levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L should be fixed. Homeowners should consider fixing homes with radon levels that are between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.

Separating fact from fiction concerning radon

Radon gas poses a real, yet easily managed threat to homeowners and homebuyers in Pennsylvania. However, the threats posed by radon gas, as well as the means for dealing with elevated levels of radon gas are often misunderstood by the general public. To help clear up the mysteries surrounding this silent killer, I sat down with local home inspection expert John Kerrigan of Reliable Home Inspection Service.

For more here

Home testing for radon is encouraged

It almost sounds like the trailer for a B horror movie.

Cue scary music.

Deep voice: It could invade your home, and you won’t even know it. You can’t see it, smell it or hear it. And it could kill you.

The people at the American Lung Association and the Duluth Healthy Homes Partnership don’t want to scare anyone. But all of the above is true of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that happens to occur quite a bit in Minnesota.

To read more: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/health/3656011-home-testing-radon-encouraged

How to breathe easier at home

How's the atmosphere in your home? We're not talking about the mood or décor – we're talking about the air, literally.

You probably don't think much about the air around you, but you spend hours breathing it every day, and it can be full of stuff you don't want in your lungs.

"Sometimes people overlook indoor air pollutants, which in some ways are very similar to outdoor air pollutants," said Hsin-Neng Hsieh, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

"The Environmental Protection Agency has published data saying that pollution in our buildings is two to five times greater than outdoors," said Daniel Kopec, an architect in Glen Ridge who teaches building systems and technology at the institute. "We're spending 90 percent of our time in buildings, so it's a huge problem."

With those warnings in mind, here are seven things you can do to breathe easier inside your four walls:

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Test for Radon

Officials discuss radon levels

Right around springtime four years ago, what Gail Orcutt thought were allergies turned out to be much worse.

“I found out I had lung cancer,” the Pleasant Hill resident said. “I’ve never smoked a day in my life.”

Her cancer didn’t come from cigarettes. Instead, the culprit was a colorless, odorless gas: radon.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation, claiming roughly 21,000 lives each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Orcutt, a retired teacher and lung-cancer survivor, made it her mission to educate people and raise awareness on the poisonous gas.

Now, after a recurrence of the cancer in August, and only a week out of chemotherapy, she is teaming with an elected official.

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has been spearheading the push to create legislation that would require more testing for radon levels in the state, especially in schools. Braley has advocated in Congress for resources and support.