PORTLAND - Some local high school students are learning how to detect radon, the element blamed as the second most common cause of lung cancer.

The students installed perforated piping in some new LEED-certified homes under construction in Northeast Portland. It s a part of the building and construction program at Benson Polytechnic High School.

The pipes will collect radon gas coming in from the ground and then allow the gas to escape through the roof.

The 40 students enrolled in the special construction course are actually building a home from the ground up, a project that will take 2 - 3 years to complete. The program has been going strong since at least the mid 70s.

After the construction projects are completed, the homes are sold and the profits are fed back into the program.

Many of The private contractors who donate their time are Benson High School graduates.

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