The District is working with Linn County Public Health to begin testing schools for Radon.
Working with Linn County Public Health (LCPH), the District will begin testing all schools for radon. (The District already tests preschools every two years.) A four-year testing schedule has been developed to include all buildings. The first group of schools – Cleveland, Gibson, Pierce, Van Buren, and Wright elementary schools – will be tested this spring. Other groups will be tested in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The testing cycle will then begin again.
There are no current concerns about radon levels in District schools and testing is not required. This proactive approach was identified to further support safety at our schools. If tests determine that levels are at or above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards at any school, we will follow the EPA’s guidelines to reduce those radon levels. The tests themselves pose no hazard to students or staff. This project is the responsibility of the Building and Grounds Department. LCPH will provide quality assurance and technical assistance.
“We appreciate this opportunity to work with Linn County Health Department in a proactive way to ensure our buildings are safe for students and staff,” explained Rob Kleinsmith, Manager of Buildings and Grounds. “Though radon testing is not required by state standards, we are taking the extra step to ensure safe school buildings.”
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause health issues with long-term exposure. The main source of exposure occurs within the home where is can enter through sump pumps, cracks, and around pipes. The only way to know for sure if there are elevated levels of radon is by testing. The LCPH recommends families regularly test their home for exposure. Test kits are available in hardware stores and through the LCPH. A coupon from the LCPH is available on the District’s Virtual Backpack.