Scott County Schools began testing for radon in mid December 2008. Our buildings that have classrooms below ground level will be tested first with the remaining schools being completed over the next few weeks. Short-term tests performed in the winter months can be expected to be higher than more reliable yearlong tests. Testing is being completed because we did not want to wait a year to find out where we stand. If these short-term tests indicate areas of concern, our maintenance department will perform further testing and/or mitigation in consultation with a state licensed mitigation provider.
Scott County Board of Education and Scott County Health Department are very concerned with the health of our students and staff. They are working collaboratively to keep the schools safe. The effects of radon are not fully defined in information obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency website. While there are no state standards regulating radon levels in buildings, if levels are found to be above the EPA recommended level of 4.0 pcl (pico curies per liter), the school district will work to do everything possible to make sure that our buildings are safe. EPA charts indicate an elevated risk for lung cancer for lifetime exposure to radon in high concentrations. However, with radon being present in the outside air, the EPA information is not clear as to what effect short term exposure to elevated levels has on students. High radon levels in bedrooms where students sleep should be of greater concern to parents in this region.
The Scott County Schools facilities department is in the process of purchasing radon monitoring devices so radon levels can be regularly monitored in the schools as well as the effectiveness of any mitigation efforts. A radon mitigation system will be incorporated in the construction of the new career technical school as a way to eliminate any radon concerns.
If you want more information on radon go to www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html. It is not our intent to cause alarm; we simply wish to keep you informed. As always, the health and well-being of our students and staff is important to us.