EPA’s Healthy Schools initiative is working with schools and other partners to provide education about environmental health issues and how they impact the health of school buildings.
Health Education Physical Education Family/Community Involvement Health Promotion for Staff Health Services Nutrition Services Healthy School Environment Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that is naturally occurring, odorless and tasteless. http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html
Radon Zones Across the U.S. http://www.radon.com/maps/ http://state-radon.info/ http://www.epa.gov/radon/zonemap.html Note: these maps indicate average risk by county. However, high levels of radon maybe found in any home or school. Surgeon General’s Warning: Radon Causes Lung Cancer
This is radon’s radiation decay breakdown. RADON Radium Uranium
Radon can be found all over the U.S. Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It moves into the air that we breathe. It can get into all types of buildings — homes, offices, schools — and the result can be a high indoor radon level.
Radonenters into a building through: • Cracks in solid floors • Construction joints • Cracks in walls • Gaps in suspended floors • Gaps around service pipes • Cavities inside walls • The water supply • Source: EPA RADON 9
How big is the radon problem? Approximately 10 percent (8 million homes) have radon levels above four picocuries per liter (4 pCi/L). EPA recommends mitigating your home if the tested level is 4 pCi/L or above, and consider mitigation fixes if the level is between 2-4 pCi/L. EPA estimates exposure to radon may cause approximately 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year.
RISK COMPARISONS Comparable Exposure pCi/l Level Comparable Risk of Lung Cancer 200 10 4 1 ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶̶ 200 Times Average Indoor Level 10 Times Average Indoor Level EPA Guideline for Continuous Exposure Average Indoor Level Average Outdoor Level 60 Times Non-Smoker Risk 1 Pack-a-Day Smoker ½ Pack-a-Day Smoker Non-Smoker Risk 20 Chest X-Rays per Year ̶ 0.2
Radon can be a health hazard • It causes lung cancer • Simple fix – Test, Fix, Save a Life
If you haven’t tested your school buildings for radon – • TEST THEM SOON! • http://www.epa.gov/radon • http://www.epa.gov/region7/citizens/schools/index.htm
Short-Term Radon Test Kit Long-Term Radon Test Kit $5.00 - $12.00 each $15.00 - $30.00 each
Exhaust Fan Radon Exhaust Pipe (typically hidden in closet or between walls) Seal around Entry Points System Failure Warning Device Typical Radon Mitigation System Sub-slab suction reverses the pressure between occupied space and the source by creation of a negative pressure field under the slab Pressure Field
To wrap this up – It’s important. Test your school for radon. Test, Fix, Save a Life
Learn more about radon: http://www.epa.gov/radon 800-SOS-RADON (800-767-7236)
Radon ContactsEPA Region 7 800-223-0425 Iowa 800-383-5992 www.idph.state.ia.us/eh/radon.asp Kansas800-693-5343 www.kansasradonprogram.org Missouri 866-628-9891 http://health.mo.gov Nebraska800-334-9491 www.hhs.state.ne.us/radon