FLOYD COUNTY, Ind — In 2018, we sent open records requests to districts in our area. After we started asking questions the district started testing facilities.
In 2019, one year later, we checked back to see if the district was doing anything differently. Their Director of Facilities said, "Since Sept. 18, 2018, we have continued to randomly test classrooms and we have acquired and deployed an additional radon tester. All classrooms tested have been found to be under the radon action level." Recent readings of the radon levels were not provided.
Here is a summary of what we found:
- Two schools and another facility were tested from September 7 through September 18 of 2018.
- Two tests were conducted at Mt. Tabor Elementary School. The measurements were 1.18 - 0.89 pCi/L.
- One test was administered at Fairmont Elementary School. The measurement was 0.91pCi/L.
- One test was administered at facilities service building measured 0.52 pCi/L.
- District administration told us they plan to continue testing their facilities.
INFORMATION FROM THE EXPERTS:
Indiana schools are not required to test for radon but being exposed to the average indoor levels in Floyd 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.
- Indiana Radon Map from the EPA
- State resources and information from Indiana Department of Environmental Management
This is part of a WHAS11 investigation into radon exposure in schools. Read the full 2018 report.