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Iowa Senate Says Schools Should Test for Radon

Schools would be required to test for radon, a colorless, odorless gas that can leak through cracks in building foundations, under legislation that passed the Iowa Senate on Wednesday.

The measure won bipartisan support, passing through Senate 37-13. It now moves to the House.

The bill would require public and private schools to test for the gas and install a system to expel it from buildings. It also would require residential construction companies to install pipes to extract the gas from homes built after Jan. 1, 2015.

Bill sponsor Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, said it would be negligent for lawmakers to do nothing to protect Iowa residents from radon.

Radon Tests Completed With No Concerns

Radon Tests Completed With No Concerns

The district has completed radon testing after some parents expressed concerns—and it was determined that all buildings are safe.

Board of education vice president Patrick Breslin announced at the May 8 meeting that a total of 900 tests were done throughout the district to ensure that all buildings are safe.

“This is the first time this has been done in five years or more, but we did the testing to assuage anyone’s concerns,” he said. “There are no state requirements to do these at any interval.”

With the first tests done, Breslin said, all but three came back without any concerns.

“But those three were retested, and they came back with no concern,” he said. “It was 900 tests and 900 results back below the state level of concern.”

Students Safe Despite Elevated Radon Levels: Health Officer

Students Safe Despite Elevated Radon Levels: Health Officer

Despite elevated radon levels, Souris Consolidated School is safe for staff and students, says the province’s chief health officer.

Dr. Heather Morrison said radon only causes health effects after high levels of exposure over a long period of time.

“If there’s one key message, that would be it,” she said.

Recent test results showed levels of 588 becquerels per cubic metre and 386 becquerels per cubic metre in two rooms at the school.

Health Canada’s guideline sets the acceptable level at 200 becquerels per cubic


Morrison said she made recommendations to the Education Department and the Eastern School District to have work done right away to reduce the radon levels.

She also said radon is much less of an issue in the summer than it is in the winter, in part because there are more windows open in the building to help air circulate.

“That’s why also the risk for students

Radon Gas in U.S. Classrooms

Radon Gas in U.S. Classrooms

Health officials warn that thousands of the nation's classrooms are filled with high levels of radioactive radon gas. Chronic exposure could lead to lung cancer, but many school districts aren't doing anything about it.

Watch a video of Dr. David Sanderson, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and learn more about radon.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 29, 2012 — Imagine your child is smoking a half a pack of cigarettes per day at school. Inhaling radon, even at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action level, the level at which it recommends schools take action to mitigate radon exposure, yields just about the same result as that half-pack-a-day habit. That’s what radon expert Bill Field told the Today show in a new investigative report.

Radon Testing to Be Completed in District 95 Schools

Radon Testing to Be Completed in District 95 Schools

Radon testing soon will be performed in all Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 schools.

The testing will cost $7,600.

The District 95 board approved the measure at its last meeting, said Jean Malek, director of communications and community relations.

Some parents have questioned the validity of the district's previous radon readings, which were taken in 2009.

Malek noted that district officials learned that not enough testing canisters were used during the 2009 test.

"We knew there was a possibility that it hadn't been done properly," she said.

Malek said the district received a grant that provides training for a staff member so he or she can learn how to perform the radon testing. Two previous employees, neither of whom are still with the district, received the training, Malek said.