facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Radon in U.S. classrooms a concern

Feb. 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Radioactive radon gas, a known carcinogenic, is in thousands of U.S. classrooms but many districts are doing nothing about it, NBC's "Today" show reported.

Radon, released in the breakdown of soil and rock, can seep into buildings and the air we breathe and with chronic exposure can be deadly, experts said.

At one school in Pennsylvania, tests showed nearly double the EPA's accepted limit for radon gas, "Today" reported Wednesday.

Radon exposure has been linked to more than 20,000 deaths every year, the second leading cause of cancer after smoking, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

"Of all the environmental exposures you get, this is the one that causes the most deaths," said R. William Field of the University of Iowa, a leading expert on radon.

"If a student's exposed, even at the EPA's action level, 4 picocuries per liter, that's equivalent to smoking half a pack of cigarettes per day," he said.

Most U.S. schools don't test because districts can't afford it, experts say, even though the EPA estimates that more than 70,000 classrooms nationwide are at risk.

Only five states require radon testing and there's no federal law mandating it, "Today" reported.

Topics: Most U.S.
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data
2
Study: Fish just wanna have fun Study: Fish just wanna have fun
3
An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again
4
Deforestation in the Amazon has increased 190 percent, satellites show Deforestation in the Amazon has increased 190 percent, satellites show
5
Japanese man who 3D printed guns sentenced to two years in prison Japanese man who 3D printed guns sentenced to two years in prison
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback