It would be nice to think that places like public schools are a safe place for our children, and precautions have been taken to alleviate exposing our little ones to potentially toxic materials, waste materials, and harmful chemicals. Some school districts are progressive and monitor their facilities better than others. Colorado does require all public schools to test for radon and that they retain their records for public review. They do not, however, require that school mitigate any issues. This means that radon can be present at elevated levels that could potentially be dangerous to your child, and nothing is done about it.
You need to start asking questions and ask for numbers on radon gas levels at your child’s school. If your child is attending a school with above-average levels of radon, and therefore radioactive particle distribution in the air, you need to get involved in the PTA or show up at a school board meeting and start asking questions. Radon gas is a very real challenge throughout Colorado and can appear and be problematic in any kind of building and multiple types of construction, no matter if it is a residence, school, retail store, or manufacturing plant. Colorado has some of the highest concentrations of radon gas coming to the surface and showing up in tests of any state in the nation.
Just because you had your home tested and did something about mitigation for radon in your home, do not expect the local school where your child spends seven or more hours five days a week to be safe. Radon can be effectively dealt with and reduced to safer levels. Many school buildings favor older construction with large areas where radon gas can collect in relatively still air, such as boiler rooms, basement storage, or walls built with extra space to accommodate piping, sewer lines, and the like. Make sure your children get the protection they deserve and be proactive in helping the local schools meet the challenge radon exposure creates for our children.