Experts discuss radon testing in Iowa’s schools


Radon mitigation system. Photo by theglauber, Flickr.
Radon mitigation system. Photo by theglauber, Flickr.

Iowa Public Radio spoke with Senator Matt McCoy, a radon–induced lung cancer survivor and a member of the Iowa Association of School Boards about radon testing in Iowa Schools.

As detailed in our radio segment, a bill was proposed in Iowa that would require schools to test for radon ever two years. If the schools fail the test twice, they would have to install radon remediation systems.

Listen to Iowa Public Radio’s story here.

Iowa senator proposes radon testing in schools


Home radon mitigation system. Photo by mtsofan, Flickr.
Home radon mitigation system. Photo by mtsofan, Flickr.

Iowa state senator Matt McCoy has introduced a bill requiring radon testing in Iowa’s schools.

If the schools twice test at above 4 picocuries per liter, they would be required to install radon remediation systems.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and Iowa homes contain the highest levels of radon in the country.

Fore more information, click here or check out our past posts about radon.

On the Radio: Radon a risk in Iowa schools


Photo by Birdies100, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses the lack of guidelines for radon testing in Iowa schools.

When it comes to radon, it’s time for Iowans to think of our children.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

Map: Iowa counties’ average indoor radon levels


I’ve put together a map that shows the average indoor radon level of every county in Iowa. Click on the image above to access the map.

The green color on the map indicates that the county has an average indoor radon level of 3-4 (pCi/L) – a safe level. All the other colors indicate unsafe levels of radon. Yellow is 4-7 (pCi/L), red is 7-9 (pCi/L) and blue is 9-12 (pCi/L). The national average indoor radon level is about 1.3 (pCi/L) according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The average indoor radon level data is from Air Chek, INC., population data is from the Iowa Data Centerand the number of home/condo owners and apartment renters data is from City Data.

Go here for information on the dangers of radon exposure.

Radon testing not mandated in Iowa schools


Radon mitigating system. Photo by Alan Light, Flickr.

An article from The Gazette examines why there are no guidelines or mandates for radon testing in Iowa’s schools.

Radon is a major problem in Iowa where levels of the gas far exceed the national average. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, leading to the death of 21,000 each year, including 400 Iowans. The gas rises from the soil and enters buildings through openings in floors and walls.

Despite its danger, many Iowa schools haven’t tested for radon in decades. This is mainly because it’s costly to test for radon, and even more costly to mitigate the gas.

Read more from The Gazette here.