Parents of students at an eastern P.E.I. school expressed their frustration at a special meeting Wednesday night over the government's response to higher than recommended levels of radon.
Two weeks ago a memo was sent to parents from the Eastern School District about radon levels at Souris Consolidated.
Exposure to high levels of radon has been linked lung cancer. P.E.I.'s chief health officer has said the students would have to be at the school 18 hours a day for 70 years to be at risk. Problems were first noticed at the school in 2008.
Still, some parents are considering pulling their children out. "It's too little too late. Four years of having our children exposed to elevated levels of radon is too long," said Robin Croucher, who has three children at the school.
"Now they say they're going to fix the problem, have begun that. Why did it take an outraged group of parents to go public with their concerns and embarrass this administration into coming forward with a solution to this problem?"
In 2008, levels were found to be just above newly amended guidelines. Croucher is worried about what may be learned in the future about what levels of radon are acceptable.
"I recall walking through the produce aisle at the grocery store with my father cigarette in hand. That was acceptable then, it's not now," he said.
"Things change. Twenty years time, 30 years time, if our kids start showing some of the adverse effects of being exposed to this radon, who can be held responsible for that?"
Croucher said if radon is still a problem in September he will explore other options for schooling his children. Shelley Keenan, president of Souris Consolidated Home and School, has a daughter at the school and an asthmatic son heading there in September. She could also be looking at other options, she said.
"It's a very disappointing situation to be in," said Keenan.
"There's a huge lack of trust now for the Department of Education. It certainly didn't make me feel better after leaving there last night."
Radon is not the only problem at the school. Carbon dioxide levels at the school are also elevated, and results of mould testing will be available in a couple of weeks.