Health Minister Stephen Mandel Challenged by School Radon, Hospital Spending

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STEPHEN MANDEL

Stephen Mandel, Health Minister for Alberta, Canada, wants mandatory radon testing in schools but faces increased challenges in the province’s hospitals. Stephen Mandel is forefront at the effort to make radon testing in Alberta public schools mandatory and has started a petition on change.cor, as reported by Cochrane Eagle. The petition says, “Would you be comfortable sending your child to school with the possibility of their getting 480, 000 dental X-rays in one year?  Why is it acceptable to be sending them to school where potentially high radon levels could be the equivalent?”

Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas that is nearly impossible to detect without special its, but it it is the leading cause of lung cancer. The Canadian Cancer society has found that 27% of all cancer deaths were from lung cancer. It is estimated that 7% of homes in Canada have dangerously high levels of radon. The dangerous gas cannot be entirely eliminated, but can be reduced through mitigation systems that cost $1, 800 to $3, 000.

Stephen Mandel has faced some criticism in Alberta for dilapidated hospitals that need replacing or refurbishing. Alberta, according to an Edmonton Journal opinion piece, has some of the highest amount of tax revenues used for healthcare, and some of the money is distributed for political reasons, not necessarily to areas that have the greatest need. The article concluded with, “Mr. Mandel, you have tough decisions ahead. Good luck.”

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