Schools are suppose to be places where parents can feel their children are safe. They are not suppose to be places where children are exposed to potentially cancerous invisible gases. Unfortunately that is exactly what many kids, and school staff and teachers, have been living with in several Metro Nashville schools. According to a News Channel 5 investigation, Nashville schools have a radon gas problem.
The acceptable level of radon indoors, according to the EPA, is 4 picoCuries (pCi/L). When the testing was conducted over Spring Break in 35 of Metro's schools, no less than 28 of the schools had classrooms that tested at or above 4 pCi/L. While exposure to radon does not instantaneously cause cancer, long term exposure has been cited as a cause of lung cancer. However, many of these schools have never been tested and those that have were last tested in the 1980's. What makes things even worse is that there is actually a law that requires Metro schools to test for radon every 5 years. Metro officials claim that they did not know about this law.
As a parent, there should be concern, no doubt. However as a teacher or staff member who may have been teaching at one of these schools for 20 years or more, there is definately more cause for alarm. Schools are suppose to be communities where there is trust and concern for each other. Seems that Metro officials need to step up their game and follow through on their word to finish the testing in the rest of the schools and put mitigation plans in place for those schools that still register above the acceptable level.