INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law a requirement that all public and private schools in Indiana be advised at least every three years about the benefits of radon testing.
Senate Enrolled Act 632 does not require school officials to investigate whether the air in their buildings is contaminated by the odorless, colorless, tasteless, radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.
But the state's indoor air quality manual for schools now will include a recommendation from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in favor of radon testing.
The legislation, which passed the Senate 49-0 and the House 92-0, was co-sponsored by state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, and state Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary.
"Our children spend a lot of their time in school, and I am proud to have helped enact these recommendations to ensure that our students are safe from the devastating effects of radon," Melton said.
"Radon has been a silent killer for years, and now that we are educated on the dangers of this chemical, we are taking steps towards reducing its impact on our children."
Radon is produced through the natural breakdown of radioactive uranium in soil, rock and water, releasing the gas into the air where it can accumulate through wall or floor cracks in enclosed spaces, such as homes and schools.