The Davis County Community School District prefers to stay ahead of the curve.

That proved true when they heard about the School Radon Training and Support System.

“When the Energy Association of Iowa Schools (EAIS) put the information out through the AEA, we jumped in right away,” said Dan Roberts, Director of Support Services for the district in southeast Iowa. “It’s beneficial for us to be able to talk to parents – and all of our stakeholders – and present them with really great data that we don’t have radon.”

School officials and staff were trained through the School Radon Training & Support System (SRTSS) to test district buildings themselves. The school buildings in the Davis County district did not come back with high radon levels, but that’s not the end of the story for Roberts.

He said the district will continue to test. Best practice suggests every 3-5 years, due to changes in building structures and the soil beneath them.

“The EPA considers the entire state of Iowa to be a high risk zone for radon,” he said. “It’s good to report to the school board and let them know what we’re getting for our investment. We are keeping our students and staff as safe as possible from radon-induced lung cancer,” he said.

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas. Being exposed to radon for extended periods of time can lead to lung cancer.

Having been trained in radon testing, then doing the testing themselves saves money for the district – resources that can be used for other district needs. In three years, the district has gone through all its facilities and will be going through them again next year. Roberts is a true believer in the program and is excited that the district’s involvement may perhaps spur community members to test their homes.

“Just the training can let teachers know, you need to test at home,” he said. “It’s one of those things that people just don’t think about.”

Roberts said the peace of mind that comes with the radon testing is invaluable.

“It’s a great plan for us,” he said. “When you really understand radon and the process of how it breaks down and gets into buildings, then you understand how serious this really is.

“With the information that is out there today, you just can’t leave your heads in the sand and not test; it’s just not very responsible.”

Learn more how your school can also have peace of mind with the School Radon Training & Support System.