|Posted:||December 9, 2020 03:27 PM|
|From:||Senator Christine M. Tartaglione|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Radon is an invisible, radioactive gas that is found in soil and rock and can only be detected by a professional or with a proper radon test kit. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind cigarette smoking and leads to between 7,000 and 30,000 lung cancer deaths each year. As hazardous as it is, there are many residents of the Commonwealth that do not have the proper information or resources to protect themselves and their families from these harmful effects.
Pennsylvania has some of the highest levels of detectable radon in the country. According to the EPA, safe level of radon should be no greater than 4 picocuries per liter. If the levels are higher than this, it is considered toxic and is unsafe to inhabit for long periods of time.
Currently, there is no requirement for school districts, landlords or newly constructed property owners to test their properties for high levels of radon. This legislation will require that these properties be properly tested for high levels of radon and if toxic levels are found, the owners must take the necessary steps to attain a safe level of radon before allowing others to inhabit the property.
Attached is an article that ran in the Morning Call local newspaper regarding a newly constructed house in Center Valley, Pennsylvania that had radon levels reaching as high as 6,176 picocuries per liter, which is 1,500 times higher than the recommended level. These homeowners now own toxic property where it is not even safe for their children to play in their own yards. This legislation hopes to prevent this from happening in the future while also protecting our children who spend long periods of time in schools and tenants in residential living situations.
To address these concerns, I plan to re-introduce legislation, formerly SB 1090 of the 2019-20 session, that will require all residential rental properties, schools, and newly constructed properties in the commonwealth to receive proper radon testing. If the property is found to have an unsafe level of radon, mitigation will be required to abate the toxic level of radon that exists. Members who co-sponsored this legislation previously include Senators Hughes, Fontana, Schwank, Brewster, Costa, Muth and Yudichak.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as SB205