Radon Plan

  • Submit a Written Plan Review

    Introduction

    Radon testing and management is not a regulated activity in Minnesota. Given the unique properties of radon gas, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with prolonged exposure to high levels and to be proactive in its control.

    This management plan has been developed to address aspects of radon gas within the St Cloud School District thereby assuring the students and staff of a safe and healthy learning and working environment. The recommendations contained in the plan are based on the recommendations of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health. Because radon is known to cause cancer and is a cause of lung cancer, second only to tobacco smoking, it is important that possible radon exposure be determined and controlled.

    As written, this plan is intended to guide the St Cloud School District in its efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment in which to learn, but will need to be reviewed and modified on a regular basis. The St Cloud School District is responsible for the enforcement and updating of the plan. Actual use of the plan is limited to Resource Training & Solutions and to the St Cloud School District that it represents.

     

    Plan Review and Updated Report

    Radon Management Plan Review & Update Report

    Program review and changes are documented below. Documented reviews indicate that the plan continues to meet the needs of the District, or has been modified to do so more effectively.

     

     Date  Updates/Notes  Reviewer
     5/11/16 Added 2 items to Appendix A:

    1.Send report results to the Department of Health  
    2.Report results at a School Board meeting                                
     
    Added MDH contact information

    Designated person - changed line 4 and added line 8                
     
    Added appendix B:  Web pg. link /Best Practices for Radon Measurement in Minnesota Schools and Commercial Buildings                                                                        
    Added Appendix C: MN statute

    Added Appendix D: School Radon Testing Reporting Form

     Wayne Warzecha
         
         
         
         
         


     
    Background & Plan Overview

    Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that enters buildings from surrounding soil. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas, the primary source of ionizing radiation to humans. The level of radon gas present in an area may pose a health hazard to students and staff alike. Testing is the only way to determine how much radon is present in the school, though it is estimated that radon levels in schools are relatively low. Test results are measured in picoCuries/liter (pCi/L) which are used to establish the action levels recommended by the EPA.

    The recommendations in this plan reflect unique aspects of the radon levels typical in Minnesota which may be affected by climate, geology and the lack of ventilation in unused areas, such as crawl spaces, tunnels and below-ground level storage areas and classrooms. This management plan has been written to help the St Cloud School District determine where a radon problem may exist and to provide guidance in steps determine the levels of exposure. If action levels meet or exceed recommendations by the EPA, this plan provides step-by-step procedures for remediation most importantly relying on proper ventilation.

     

    Definitions

    Action level - the EPA recommended action level of radon is 4.0 pCi/L

    Closed conditions - all doors and windows maintained in a closed position, air exchange systems turned off, initiated at least 12 hours before testing is initiated

    Ionizing radiation - harms the cells that make up our body's tissues and organs

    Long-term tests - testing over a period of at least 90 days (Alpha Track Detector or "ATD")

    picoCuries/liter (pCi/L) - the level of radon present in the measurement area

    Radon - an odorless, tasteless, colorless, radioactive gas which is the number two cause of lung cancer in humans; primary source of ionizing radiation

    Short-term tests - a screening test over a period of 2 to 7 days in closed conditions (charcoal canister)

     

    Designated Person

    Mike Machacek or the designated employee of the St Cloud School District has been trained in the requirements of this plan and is responsible for implementation and upgrading the plan. Responsibilities include, but are not limited, to:

    1. Surveying building to identify areas of possible radon infiltration; 
    2. Testing suspected areas or sites; 
    3. Ensuring proper testing procedures are followed and adhered to; 
    4. Reporting  results to administration and School Board meeting with recommendations;
    5. Staying abreast of EPA and M D H requirements; 
    6. Training staff; and, 
    7. Presenting plan and recommendations to the Administration or School Board for review and approval at least annually.
    8. Report results to the Department of Health by using forms in Appendix C 

     

    General Plan Requirements

    A. Identification

    1. Radon levels are normally highest in the lowest parts of a building. 
    2. It usually moves through a building by diffusion and natural air movements. 
    3. Suspect areas include pores or cracks in the concrete, spaces behind brick veneer, floor-wall joints, exposed soil, weeping tile, mortar joints and open tops of blocks. 
    4. If an area is suspected of having radon gas, a radon test kit will be placed in the area to verify its presence and to establish the level of pCL/L.

    B. Testing Materials

    1. Short-term tests.— if time is of the essence, this method can be used providing closed testing conditions are implemented and followed at least 12 hours prior to testing:
      • Close all doors and windows;
      • Shut down air exchange systems;
      • Leave in place for 2 - 7 days (less than 48 hrs. not valid); and,
      • Decision to mitigate should not be based on one short-term testing results.
    2. Long-term tests - should be left in place for a minimum of 90 days. Results can be used to make decision to take action to mitigate.

    C. Assessment and Mitigation

    If the results of testing indicate a level of radon presence above 4 pCi/L, St Cloud School District will take steps to lower the levels. The source of radon will dictate the type of remediation that takes place, i.e., increased ventilation, repair of cracks in concrete, covering exposed soil in crawl spaces.

     

    Training

    The St Cloud School District will provide training and support to affected staff to inform them of the risks of radon gas, testing and remediation.

     

    Recordkeeping

    The St Cloud School District will maintain all testing records and any correspondence with regulatory agencies regarding radon gas as well as records of all training provided to affected staff.

     

    Minnesota Department of Health Contact Information

    To get more information on radon or other indoor air quality issues contact:

    Indoor Environments & Radiation Section
    Indoor Air Unit
    PO Box 64975
    St. Paul, MN 55164-0975 
     
    Phone: 651-201-4601 or 800-798-9050
    Fax: 651-201-4606
    TTY: 651-201-5797
    www.health.state.mn.us/radon 

     

    Appendix A: Radon Compliance Checklist

    The following checklist serves as a quick reference for the St Cloud School District to evaluate their level of compliance.

    • Select Designated Person 
    • Periodically Test for Radon
    • Send report results to the Department of Health
    • Report results at a School Board meeting 
    • Train affected Staff

    Note: This checklist is not intended to be comprehensive in nature. The St Cloud School District should refer to their respective Exposure Control Plan which further outlines general compliance requirements.

     

    Appendix B:Best Practices for Radon Measurement in Minnesota Schools and Commercial Buildings
     

    Please visit website:

    http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/schools/radontestingschools.pdf

     

    Appendix C: School Radon Testing Reporting Form

    School Radon Testing Form

    School Radon Testing Form

    Appendix D: 2015 Minnesota Statute
     

    123B.571 RADON TESTING.
     

    Subdivision 1.Voluntary plan.
    The commissioners of health and education may jointly develop a plan to encourage school districts to accurately and efficiently test for the presence of radon in public school buildings serving students in kindergarten through grade 12. To the extent possible, the commissioners shall base the plan on the standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    §Subd. 2. Radon testing.
    A school district may include radon testing as a part of its health and safety plan. If a school district receives authority to use health and safety revenue to conduct radon testing, the district shall conduct the testing according to the radon testing plan developed by the commissioners of health and education.

    Subd. 3. Reporting.
    A school district that has tested its school buildings for the presence of radon shall report the results of its tests to the Department of Health in a form and manner prescribed by the commissioner of health. A school district that has tested for the presence of radon shall also report the results of its testing at a school board meeting.