The Poisoning of Whitaker

Number 18701
Subject Health
Source Willamette Week (Portland, Ore.)
State OR
Year 2001
Publication Date May 23
Summary A Willamette Week investigation reveals that Oregon's worst performing middle school contains levels of radon, a radioactive gas, far in excess of the safe maximum determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The school is also notorious for unhealthy levels of carbon dioxide caused by the lack of open windows and the circulation of air through contaminated underground tunnels. District officials have been aware of the problems for more that a decade, the story reports. One of the major findings is that the radon contamination and the poor air quality have "contributed to chronically high student and teacher absenteeism ... and academic achievement far lower than would be predicted by Whitaker's socioeconomic level."
Category Contest Entry
Pages 13
Keywords environment;safety;pollution;teachers;students;education
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