Pittsburgh environmental groups have launched an initiative to help schools and child-care facilities address lead and radon. Both lead and radon can impact a child's development, growth and learning. While these hazards are commonly found in schools and other educational buildings, any testing for these hazards is voluntary in Pittsburgh. Dangers of lead contamination have gained a lot of attention in recent months in the city, but radon in the air is equally harmful to childhood development. “ Radon is also estimated to cause approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And they estimate more than 70,000 schoolrooms around the country have elevated radon levels.” Disappointingly, school districts in Pennsylvania aren't required to test for radon or lead. Because of this, environmental groups have launched an initiative to help schools, early-learning centers, and after-school programs test for lead and radon and eliminate the environmental risks in their facilities.
It was very surprising to me that school districts in Pennsylvania are not required to test for radon or lead. Children spend a lot of time at school, day-care facilities, and after school programs, so it is necessary for schools to do such testing in order to protect the health of the children. Hopefully, the environmental groups will be successful in raising awareness and will facilitate efforts to make schools environmentally hazard free.