Radon Danger in Schools
Second only to time spent at home, school age children spend more time in the classroom than any other indoor space. First and foremost, school officials are concerned about the safety of their students and radon can be a silent hazard lurking in the classroom. Especially vulnerable are the youngest of children who do not have fully developed lung tissue and who are closest to the groung source of radon gas.
In 2005, the Ohio state legislature enacted “Jared’s Law” after a tragic accident took the life of 6 year old Jared Bennet of Lebanon, Ohio. Included in this law were mandatory inspections, from properly securing tables, to proper mouth guards at drinking fountains to radon testing of all ground level school classrooms and offices.
Quite remarkably and to the surprise of parents and school officials, the state quietly repealed “Jared’s Law” during the budget process in 2009 leaving thousands of school children at risk for radon gas exposure. To be sure, the government enforced inspections were costly to local school districts, however, it goes without saying that it left vulnerable school age children at risk of exposure, despite school board’s talk of safety.
During those short years, Radon Environmental Services tested many schools throughout the state with some classrooms needing immediate remediation. We feel this is important information for parents across the state of Ohio, where the incidence of elevated radon gas in homes, schools and offices is greater than any other state. Hopefully, this information will lead to some kind of action that will re-ignite mandatory radon testing in schools at a reasonable cost that school districts can afford.
School Radon Testing
DO SCHOOLS NEED TO TEST FOR RADON?
According to the Ohio Department of Health:
Yes, if the building has never been tested or past test results are unavailable, a radon test should be done. The building should be re-tested after any renovations to the building or HVAC system. In addition, re-testing should be done periodically, at least every 5 years. Retesting should be done in all buildings and in all ground contact rooms, regardless of prior results.