Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Radon Testing Underway in all MCPS Schools

It is not often community leaders and county officials admit to mistakes and oversights. But in a press release sent by Montgomery County Public Schools’ Public Information and Web Services Department on Dec. 6, Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers issued a statement in which he apologized to a concerned community for the county’s failure to follow radon testing protocol in numerous cases where tests within MCPS buildings showed elevated levels of the naturally occurring odorless gas linked to lung cancer.
Bowers then announced, “out of an abundance of caution,” plans to retest all schools and buildings within the county to set a new baseline for future reference as the next step “to enhance our overall radon testing and remediation program.” Results are scheduled to be posted on the county’s website as soon as they are received.
Radon is a radioactive gas and exposure to it—which can only be determined through testing—is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America (14,000 deaths per year), according the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)....

...But some parents, such as Simona Haver whose son attends Springbrook High School, are wondering why there would be no immediate mitigation for buildings that have already revealed high levels of radon.
Haver, who admitted she’s begun to feel stonewalled by authorities the more she inquires about her son’s safety, said an attempt was made to comfort her by explaining that children only spend a limited time in the affected classrooms.
“A person of authority told me, they’re only in one of those eight rooms (in our school that showed elevated levels) for 47 minutes every day,” Haver said. “I say, ‘OK, look, let’s look at this under a real microscope. That’s 47 minutes a day, over the last four years, Monday through Friday.’ That equates to 30 full days, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you know, going into a facility, that it’s going to cause you lung disease, would you go there for 30 days with the probability? … It’s not a risk at this point, it’s a threat to my child, to the staff and to the administrators.”...

1 comment:

  1. These are not the only dangerous gases our kids and workers are exposed to. For an entire school year, a school bus that was filled with fumes and burnt gases that the kids had to breathe in (without adequate ventilation) was dispatched by the MCPS transportation officials. When notified, they made little effort to rectify the problem and the bus continued to emit toxic fumes inside the bus as it was picking up kids on the route. It took an inordinate time for them to repair the problem and replace the bus. They claimed that freon was burning inside the engine and being blown into the bus.

    The standard response from MCPS is to discount science and minimize the damage done to our growing kids from their negligence and inertia.

    Is there going to be a class action suit based on the failure of MCPS to follow Radon testing and mitigation guidelines?


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