BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. — Bullitt County Public Schools have never been tested despite being in an area the EPA says has a high potential for the cancer-causing gas radon.
In 2018, we sent open records requests to districts in our area. We found that the Bullitt County School District found no record of radon testing. Superintendent Jesse Bacon said the district plans to test. Mr. Bacon told FOCUS in an email, "Since our first correspondence, we have been hard at work addressing this issue."
In 2019, we checked with the district again to see if it was doing anything differently. Superintendent Bacon told FOCUS in an email, "we have not taken any additional steps with testing and mitigation since your initial report." When we asked about the outcome of their efforts to reach out to the Universities and other districts that have tested our emails went unanswered.
INFORMATION FROM THE EXPERTS:
Kentucky schools are not required to test for radon but being exposed to the average level in Bullitt County (4.0 pCi/L) is equivalent to smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day, according to the EPA.
Approximately 21,000 Americans die annually from radon-induced lung cancer, including people who have quit smoking or never smoked.
The EPA recommended action level is at 4 pCi/L, while the World Health Organization recommends action at 2.7 pCi/L. Both organizations are clear, no level of radon exposure is safe, especially long-term.
Changes in the building and environment could cause changes in radon exposure levels, therefore the EPA recommends retesting every building at least every other year to make sure levels do not reach dangerous levels.
The only way to know if levels of radon gas are dangerous is to test and retest.
- Find a test kit.
- County-level infographic from Kentucky State Radon Program © University of Kentucky BREATHE
- EPA Kentucky Radon Exposure Map
- State resources for radon
This is part of a WHAS11 investigation into radon exposure in schools. Read the full 2018 report.