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Oregon Approves Radon Testing in Schools

Tuesday, August 4th


With the health risk associated with radon becoming more prevalent in the public consciousness, the Oregon House of Representatives voted to mandate radon testing in all schools in the state. The bill, which will be fully implemented by 2021, passed by the overwhelming margin of 54-4 and garnered bipartisan support.

Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland), the bill's chief sponsor, said, "It's the second-leading cause of lung cancer. … We want all schools to go through a testing process if they haven’t done so in the last 10 years.” Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), who is also a physician, concurred by stating, "We test for this in our homes. There's no reason we shouldn't test for it in our schools."

Radon is colorless, odorless gas that is naturally found throughout the country. Radon is considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind only smoking. 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) is the level deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning any classroom that tested above that level would need radon mitigation.

The Oregon Health Authority will work with the Oregon School Boards Association to design plans for radon testing throughout the state. Radon tests are inexpensive, but the quantity of the tests requires some planning.

While the steps taken for radon testing in schools are encouraging news, testing your home is just as important. Contact your local National Radon Defense affiliate to learn more about radon testing and get professional radon mitigation services in your home.

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