Huntington Beach, CA, March 28th, 2018
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that although the U.S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA) recommends that all schools nationwide be tested for radon, it is not mandatory in California and there is no state funding specifically set aside to help school districts pay for testing.
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that has been found in schools, buildings and homes across the globe. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium and thorium in soil, rock and water. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and can get into a school or other building through cracks and holes in the foundation. This is especially true when the air pressure inside the building is lower than the pressure in the soil under the foundation. With this difference in pressure, the building acts like a vacuum, drawing radon inside. Radon can even enter a building through well water and get into the air.
Testing schools across the state would be a wise decision as the EPA ranks indoor radon among the most serious environmental health problems facing the nation. After smoking, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States causing an approximately twenty one thousand lung cancer deaths each year. The agency also reports that 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. EPA estimates that more than 70,000 schoolrooms in use today across the country have high short-term radon levels.
“A person cannot see, smell or taste radon, so the only way to know if elevated radon levels are present is to test for it,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Fortunately, testing is inexpensive and if test results indicate elevated levels, there are radon reduction systems that can be installed to reduce indoor levels. New schools, homes and buildings can even be constructed with radon-resistant features built right in.”
To identify potential radon exposure risks in schools, homes and work environments, LA Testing provides radon testing services and user-friendly test kits. The California radon experts even recently sponsored an educational video about radon in schools that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/_CzuKtvJ0Gs.
To learn more about testing for radon or other indoor air quality (IAQ), environmental, occupational, health and safety services, please visit www.LATesting.com or www.RadonTestingLab.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.