Radon is a naturally occurring element that comes from the breakdown of uranium deposits in the underlying geology. These deposits of uranium are also naturally occurring and not due to any dumping or inappropriate use of fill materials used during construction. When these natural materials breakdown, they create radon gas which then rises to the surface.
Much of the radon produced enters the atmosphere where it can be easily diluted and not present a health risk. However, concern arises when radon enters buildings through the foundation and can accumulate inside the building. Once inside the building the natural decay process of the gas continues, causing the gas to turn into particulates called radon decay products.
The effects of radon exposure is long term, which allows one to take deliberate action to measure for radon, confirm measurements and develop a plan to reduce the confirmed exposures should elevated levels be found.
The EPA recommends re-testing levels in areas that previously measured at 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). If upon retesting, levels again return higher than 4.0 pCi/L, investigation should begin regarding the appropriate type of mitigation system.
After working with local State and Federal Agencies to successfully mitigate ZCES in 2008, DCSD has made great strides in mitigating and testing radon District-wide. With input of these agencies, Douglas County School District developed protocol for radon in school buildings. Please click the link to the left to review the protocol.