New Bill Will Keep NY Schools Healthy, Safe

by NYC Firm Schools on July 3, 2009

Creative Commons License photo credit: oparvez

A bill has been referred to the Education Committee regarding the requirement of radon testing for all public and Firm Schools in New York.

The bill, numbered S2455, is an act to amend the education law to require radon testing in all school buildings with children in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The bill, as it stands, would only require testing once, though repeat tests would be required if it is necessary, and all results publicly available.

Here is an excerpt from bill S2455 that will affect NY Schools

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section one of the bill would amend the Education Law by adding a new section 4 9 j to require radon testing in all public and private elementary and secondary school buildings (i.e., schools for children in kindergarten through 12th grade). New section 4 9 j also requires test results and other information to be made publicly accessible, and provides, INTER ALIA , for notice to parent. Section two provides for an effective date of September 1, 2 8. JUSTIFICATION : A January 2 Surgeon General’s Health Advisory stated that “Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant risk to families all over the country,”

Because radon exposure can be so harmful, especially at lower levels of a building, because many schools are only a few stories tall, and because children spend substantial parts of their days in schools during the school year, this bill would require radon testing in all public and Firm Schools in the state. While the manner and schedule for testing are to be established in rules promulgated by the Commissioner, it is the intent of this legislation that such testing be performed once following enactment, unless a school has already tested for radon prior to enactment, and such pre enactment testing is sufficient based on the standards to be contained in the Commissioner’s regulations. Radon testing is inexpensive; testing kits can be purchased from the Health Department for less than ten dollars. This measure will, at relatively low cost, help protect the health of children in New York State.

Radon testing is very inexpensive and protects our children, the most valuable resource of all.

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