For years we have heard rumblings about having nationally mandated radon testing carried out in schools. Now, a bill in the House is aimed at introducing the subject in the state of Pennsylvania. While this particular bill may leave some issues unaddressed, many see the bill as a sign of things heading in the right direction.
Why has testing schools become a more important issue?
We know that the children are our future, and we need to do everything we can to foster a healthy environment for them to learn. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Tim Briggs, is pushing in the right direction for mandatory radon testing.
Currently, nine different states have mandatory testing, and this number needs to increase. Recent studies have found that radon can be directly linked to over 20,000 American deaths every single year. Children are especially vulnerable as they lack fully developed immune systems.
From what we have found, the largest flaw in this particular bill is the fact that no information is provided about how to fund the services. Allocating the $20 cost per room to do the testing is one thing, but what about when remediation is necessary? These issues will need to be addressed.
The basics of this bill are all about radon testing, and what they have come up with is a rudimentary timeline for the testing. Every school in the state would have to be tested at least once every five years, which seems reasonable. Additionally, any newly built or renovated schools would be tested within 19 months of any children attending the school.
Certain cities and school districts are going to have to become a priority for any program like this. The geology of an area plays a big factor in how much radon is produced and therefore affects the exposure levels. Pennsylvania has proven to have areas with high radon levels, and the situation has been monitored for some time.
Forty percent of buildings and homes in Pennsylvania fall above the recommended safety guidelines set out by the EPA. State officials have been recommending radon testing and prevention for a long time, but they have yet to set a mandatory standard across the state. Hopefully, this bill is going to jumpstart a larger state-wide, or even nationwide, action.
While this newly proposed bill may still need work, the legislation is certainly a step in the right direction for mandatory radon testing. Illness and death associated with radon is something we need to eliminate wherever possible. We hope this bill is going to be the start of something much bigger and will lead to ridding buildings of radon for the safety of inhabitants or visitors. Contact us for information about radon testing or remediation.
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