Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Early Childhood Education / National Radon Action Month

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, Smart Talk | Jan 24, 2017 8:00 PM

A 2015 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concludes that high-quality early childhood education is key in developing successful learning habits later in life.  The report suggests free access to pre-school and increasing subsidized child care and pre-kindergarten for low income working parents.  It concludes that American students are falling behind the global academic curve and they can catch up with the aid of early education.


Franco Harris / Bruce Baumgartner

To spread this message, four-time Olympic medal winning wrestler Bruce Baumgartner and Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris will release a report from the nonprofit Champions for America's Future that details the benefits of early childhood education and pre-K.  The event will be held at the Main Rotunda of the State Capitol, Wednesday January 25th at 10:30.  Baumgartner and Harris will join Smart Talk beforehand to discuss the importance of early education and how the organization advocates for pre-kindergarten.

Also, January is National Radon Action Month and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is reminding residents of the dangers posed by this colorless, odorless, radioactive gas.  Radon occurs naturally in the ground as uranium within the soil breaks down and it causes 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year in America.

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Bob Lewis - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Program Manager, Bureau of Radiation Protection

Pennsylvania has some of the highest radon levels in the country with 40% of homes testing above the EPA's level of concern.  Bob Lewis, the DEP's Radon Program Manager, will join Smart Talk to talk about the dangers of radon, testing and remediation as well as dispel some myths about radon.

For information about radon and your home, visit the Department of Environmental Protection's website at KEYWORD:  Radon  

Call: 800-237-2366 [800-23-R-A-D-O-N]    -or-  717-783-3594


on radon:

- It is possible that people don't pay attention to radon because they think they cannot afford to solve a radon problem.

If you find that your house has radon, do you have to disclose it when you sell it?       - anon

- I have a radon mitigation system in my house.  It came with the house.  In the past four years we finished our basement so now it is more of a living space.  Should we have the basement retested now that we use the basement more and changes have been to the basement?           - Alyson, York

- If I want to install an abatement device myself, where can I buy the parts?      - Ben

- I have a Kidde radon detection kit for the home that I picked up a few years ago at a community event. It has an activated charcoal radon sampler tray.

I don't see any expiration date on it anywhere. Is it still good to use?                  - Susan

Does your guest know if you HAVE to test for radon before you sell your house now, or is it just if the parties involved request it?                                - anon

- Several years ago, both of my not-quite 8 year old cats died within weeks of each other from cancer. Our vet asked if we had checked our home for radon. The answer was "no," and then we did check. It exceeded the recommended number by a very large margin, and we installed mitigation fans.                                                                    - Cyndi, Harrisburg

- Could you ask your guest to explain how a homeowner can check if their system is running with the manometer/pressure gauge?                - Marcus, Harrisburg

- I am a home inspector. All I do is set-up and pick-up measuring equipment. The results are determined independently. Why do I need to go to school to learn about radon when all I do is set-up monitors when anyone can get a kit to do it themselves?                  - Mike

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