HENRY COUNTY, Ky. — In 2018, we sent open records requests to districts in our area. We found that the Henry County School District had no record of testing for the radioactive gas radon. Superintendent Terry Price said they were working on a proposal to address the issue.
In 2019, one year later, we checked back to see if the district was doing anything differently. "We never got very far due to other issues. We will see about doing our original plan this year," Superintendent Price said but encouraged us to check back. "Our August agenda is set, so my next opportunity would be in Sept. You may contact me at the end of September and I might have more to share."
Here is a summary of what we found:
- Henry County School District has never tested for radon exposure
- Superintendent, Terry Price told us they plan to test soon. Price said, "In light of the concern you have brought to our attention, I have sought a proposal to be presented to the Board of Education later this autumn (2018) for appropriate radon testing for each of the School District's buildings."
INFORMATION FROM THE EXPERTS:
Kentucky schools are not required to test for radon but being exposed to the average indoor levels in Henry County (2 to 4 pCi/L) could be 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.