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By Ben Hall, Phil Williams and Kevin Wisniewski NewsChannel 5 Investigates
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Just-released tests results from the Metro Nashville Health Department show elevated levels of the cancer-causing gas radon in some Nashville classrooms.
Of the 1,239 tests completed during the first round of tests inside 35 Metro schools, 331 (26.7 percent) demonstrated levels above four picoCuries per liter, the Environmental Protection Agency's action threshold.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Some of the highest levels were at Hattie Cotton Elementary in East Nashville where one classroom was 41.7 picoCuries -- that's 10 times higher than the EPA recommended level. Other classrooms were well above 20 picoCuries.
"We'll be looking right away at the ventilation system in those rooms," said Dr. Bill Paul, director of the Metro Health Department.