RadonLeaders.org
Skip top navigation

radon in schools

Many Ohio Schools Don’t Check for Radon in a State Known for High Radon Levels

Recently, WKYC broadcast a report about radon levels in Ohio Schools. Even though most of Ohio is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Zone 1 area, few schools perform radon testing.

A Zone 1 area is described as having the highest potential for a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L. A small percentage of counties in Ohio that are not listed as a Zone 1 area have been listed under the EPA’s Zone 2 category. Zone 2 predicts an average indoor radon screening level of between 2 and 4 pCi/L.

Even though children spend approximately 8 hours a day in the classroom, Ohio does not require radon testing in its schools. According to the WKYC report, “The EPA estimates about 70,000 classrooms in the U.S. have radon levels at or above the action level of 4 pCi/L. But federal laws do not mandate radon testing in schools.”

SILENT KILLER: Radon In Iowa Schools and Homes

You send your children to school, assuming they will be reasonably safe. So, why is a middle school principal on a mission to warn all parents about a potential health hazard to Iowa students?

Steph Langstraat, Principal at Monroe Middle School in Prairie City is fighting back against radon, a potentially deadly chemical seeping up through the foundation of her school into classrooms and halls.

Monroe Middle School is not alone; Iowa has the highest uranium concentration in the nation. As uranium breaks-down, it releases radon gas that has potential to cause lung cancer. The gas rises up through an estimated 3/4 of the homes and building foundations in Iowa.

Iowa Lacks Guidelines to Track Radon in Schools

Iowa Lacks Guidelines to Track Radon in Schools

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Look both ways before you cross the street. Tell a teacher if someone bullies you. Sit quietly while you ride the bus. There’s a long list of warnings out there to help kids protect themselves from potential school dangers.

One that is far less common is, “Be careful, you might be inhaling radon.” After all, how do you protect people from something that has no smell, color or taste?

“It’s a gas that’s going to take the route of least resistance,” said Dr. Chuck Lynch, a professor in the department of epidemiology in the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health.

The Environmental Protection Agency has classified all 99 of Iowa’s counties in Zone 1, meaning they have the highest potential for indoor radon concentrations above 4 picocuries per liter, even though the agency maintains that “there is no known safe level of exposure to radon.”

Radon Levels Go Unchecked in Many Ohio Schools

Taking Action: Radon ‘Rumors’ at Calhoun College

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT)–WHNT News 19 received a tip from a caller late last week who claimed high levels of Radon had been detected in Wallace Hall on the Decatur campus of Calhoun Community College. The caller also claimed classes were in session while maintenance crews worked installing a ventilation system to clear out the Radon.

The caller, who remained anonymous but appeared to have insight into the situation, told a WHNT News 19 producer Calhoun faculty and staff were called into a meeting about the alleged Radon levels detected and were asked to keep quiet about the situation.

Schools Testing for Radon

Testing for radon is under way in the Ozark and Nixa school districts.

In Ozark, testing is under way in buildings across the district. About 60 percent of school districts statewide have undergone radon testing.

Ozark was scheduled to be tested during the 2013-14 school year. Randy Maley of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Kevin Patterson, associate superintendent of Ozark schools, were able to move the time frame up to this year.

On Aug. 27, Maley began placing radon testing kits across the district. The kits will remain on location until after MAP testing is complete at the end of April. The lab results will be available early next summer.

2011 State Test Shows High Levels of Radon in Nixa Elementary School

According to the CDC radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The first is smoking. It’s an odorless, colorless radioactive gas.

Recently Nixa School officials found out there may have been dangerous levels of the gas in an elementary school.

But officials say there is no reason to panic, and the children are in no immediate danger.

The CDC says radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. It's a gas that comes from the breakdown of soil and rocks and is lethal when exposed to over an extended period of time.

So when high levels show up in a school, people get concerned; none more so than school officials.

“We take pride in providing safe and secure learning environments for our kids,” said Nixa Superintendent Stephen Kleinsmith.

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.”

High Radon Levels Found in 1 in 5 Schools, More Testing Advised

IAQ Index™ provides test kits to help identify radon levels and other hazards in schools, homes and offices.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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 seventy thousand (70,000) schoolrooms in use today have high short-term radon levels.”

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

metre.

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