How the State of Iowa is Handling Radon Testing in Schools
Recently, the Iowa House of Representatives voted on a bill regarding radon testing in Iowa schools. The bill passed in the house with a vote of 98-1. Though the bill is not a mandate for radon testing in the state’s public schools, it is a step in the right direction, as it actively encourages school districts to test for and mitigate radon.
Radon, a natural gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The soil in Iowa produces large amounts of radon, which could possibly endanger many students in schools. The bill, which is set to be negotiated with the House and Senate, is careful not to put an unfunded mandate into place, as it highly recommends radon testing as opposed to requiring it in the state’s 362 school districts.
Many superintendents across the state support the bill as a way to protect their students and their schools. Before passing in the House, many suggested that the bill should require radon testing equipment in all new construction jobs. That version was scrapped in favor of focusing solely on schools.
Radon testing in Iowa schools is very important for numerous reasons. Radon is colorless and odorless, meaning a school can have high levels of radon for years without ever recognizing it. This radon affects your lungs over a long period of time and can lead to breathing problems and lung cancer. Testing for radon in schools can protect thousands of Iowa students from problems later in life. If a school has high levels of radon and students spend many years there, it can greatly increase their chances of problems down the road.
Testing for radon in schools and homes can protect you, your family, and your students from the dangerous effects of this gas.