Look both ways before you cross the street. Tell a teacher if someone bullies you. Sit quietly while you ride the bus. There’s a long list of warnings out there to help kids protect themselves from potential school dangers.
One that is far less common is, “Be careful, you might be inhaling radon.” After all, how do you protect people from something that has no smell, color or taste?
The Environmental Protection Agency has classified all 99 of Iowa’s counties in Zone 1, meaning they have the highest potential for indoor radon concentrations above 4 picocuries per liter, even though the agency maintains that “there is no known safe level of exposure to radon.” Iowa is only one of two states composed entirely of Zone 1 counties and, according to the Iowa Radon Survey, 71.6 percent of Iowa homes have radon levels above 4 pCi/L.
“There’s no doubt that radon is a problem in Iowa. It’s the air. It’s all around us,” Lynch said, narrowing his scope specifically to homes.
According to experts, radon exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and the first among nonsmokers, with the gas being responsible for 400 lung cancer deaths in Iowa.
Have you ever had your home tested for radon levels?