"Outraged is one good explanation of how we feel. And we feel immediate attention is required," said Jennifer Miller of Wells.
Jennifer Miller and her husband, Don, pulled their son Lyle out of the Wells Village School when they learned it contains above-average levels of radon. Radon is a hazardous gas that comes from soil and bedrock. Testing for radon was done at the school in January 2013 and high levels of radon were detected in multiple areas of the school.
"The Department of Health told us there were no concerns-- safety, health concerns-- at this time," said Joan Paustain, the school superintendent.
David Glass is an environmental health expert for the state. He says parents should be concerned, but there is no need to panic.
"I think what's important to understand is it's not like carbon monoxide where it presents an immediate threat. The risk from radon is a long-term risk, and so really what you're concerned about is lifetime exposure to radon," Glass said.
The Millers say they are upset they were only just notified about radon in their son's school. The superintendent first learned of it in September.
"We felt we needed to take the time to research, make sure we had all the information," Paustain explained.
Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas known to be radioactive and cause cancer. The radon levels in some of the classrooms were twice as high as the surgeon general's warning.
"The way they estimate radon risk is-- for residences-- is based on 70 percent occupancy over 30 years. And so that's what we mean when we say it's a long-term exposure risk," Glass said.
The U.S. Department of Health just gave the school a $10,000 grant to get rid of the radon. The school board is still working on a plan.
"We are hoping to have it completed by June 30th and have all the levels of radon reduced to acceptable levels," Paustain said.
But parents like the Millers are still concerned about potential health risks. They won't be sending Lyle back to school until the problem is solved.
"As a parent, I want it cleaned up ASAP," Jennifer Miller said. "I don't want to wait. I want it done now."
There are no state or federal laws that mandate radon testing or removal. The health department says of the 325 schools in the state, just a fraction have been tested. But when radon is detected, health experts say it can be easily removed with a mitigation system.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:52:17 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
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Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>