The best thing that we hear is schools are getting noticed for capital budget. I would hope the school administrators are looking into keeping radon mitigation and radon testing as part of this appropriation. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths and reason for several other cancers (not allowed to talk about in Delaware per public health administrators).
Some funds certainly need to be set aside for improving indoor air quality of school buildings where teachers, students, nurses, and PTA administrators have brought it to my attention for 9 years how sick they feel during their stay in these buildings. While the most I could do was to help educate and implement EPA's Tools for Schools program, against the wishes of my supervisors in Delaware Public Health agency, there was little I could do to help what was wrong with the buildings. It was painful for my superiors to watch, as radon mitigation cut through profits of their outside industry interests and they tried every thing to discredit radon risk and halted radon mitigation by discrediting me, preparing a plot to eliminate me. The superiors also destroyed radon data files not to show how radon data mapped in Delaware homes (in my time we had greater than 330, 000 radon tests, 4727 radon mitigations and 3945 radon resistant new homes built in Delaware through radon grant). Administrators can discredit a person not do enough to discredit cancer risk.
Getting a radon proclamation signed by the Governor (which Governor Minner did as did Governor Carper, when I started the program management in 1996) was a struggle under the same supervisor. They disliked my actions. The status of radiation exposure control in Delaware due to lapses in X-Ray quality inspections, Radon, low-level radioactive waste management oversight (inspection and orphan radioactive source threat) and Right-To-Know program is a reason enough to worry about cancer issues in Delaware. Unless and until Cancer Consortium is given full picture and they act proactively, Delaware is going to lead in cancer rates no matter what changes Governor has tried to implement. I am finally glad, she took the stand for the school budget. No law-maker seems to have heard this for too many years that I proposed radon mitigation be made as part of the capital budget.
I am in touch with community leaders and school administrators to help not to let our children be made political pawns, shadowed by some myopic public health dealers. I hope we can give better learning environment to our children in Delaware that includes healthy schools.
As an EX Radon Program Manager (Toxicologist by trade and biomedical researcher), I have collected enough data on Delaware population (state employees in state buildings) and heard their personal horror stories on health related problems due to bad indoor air quality. My superiors have seen me as a threat to blow whistle on their contract dealings, grants and the operational ethic (at Delaware Health &Soc. Services, Public Health. Therefore, I became an EX state worker (gladly) after being intimidated and threatened, listening to racially charged remarks by inept administrators. who had a philosophy of making government agency work for them and not for the public. Let us stop Fox watching the Hen House management structure in Public Health agency to give back people what they deserve, value for their Taxes and a public health institution that they can trust.
This is a public Service Posting!
Ramney Koul, Ph.D.,MBA
EX-EPA radon Grant/R-T-K Program Manager
Delaware Division of Public Health