Pursuant to Connecticut General Statute (C.G.S.) Sec. 10-220(d) “prior to January 1, 2008 and every five years thereafter,” all schools shall be evaluated for radon levels as part of a uniform inspection and evaluation of the indoor air quality in buildings.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) Radon Program has implemented a policy requirement for radon testing procedures in K-12 Connecticut public school buildings. The guidelines for radon testing procedures in Connecticut schools are as follows:
- Schools are required to hire only qualified testing professionals for schools to conduct radon testing in public schools. The CT DPH maintains the list of qualified measurement professionals for radon testing in CT schools on the Radon Program website.
Circular Letter 2010-75 Radon Re-evaluation in Public Schools (pdf) Information on the 5 year re-evaluation of public schools.
Radon testing is conducted between November 1 through March 31 when school is in session. The March 1, 2007 Memorandum clarifies DPH protocols for radon measurement in CT public schools.
Fill out the School Radon Testing Report Form (pdf) upon completion of the initial school testing event and submit to the Radon Program
Fill out the School Re-evaluation Reporting Form (pdf) upon completing re-evaluation of school buildings every five years after initial testing.
High levels of radon have been found in classrooms in a number of schools in Connecticut. Therefore, it is important that students, teachers, and parents are aware that a potential problem could exist in their school. A nationwide survey of radon levels in schools estimates that nearly one in five has at least one schoolroom with a short-term radon level above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L.
Testing is the only way to know if high levels of radon exist in your school. Public schools in Connecticut are required to test for radon in air according to C.G.S. Sec 10-220. School administrators will keep radon test reports on file and notify students, teachers, and parents of radon test information.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) provides technical guidance and information to the concerned general public, schools, and school radon measurement professionals regarding radon testing in Connecticut schools.
Tips for Radon Measurement in Schools:
- Read the updated DPH Radon Testing Guidance Document for Schools (pdf)
Use the following tools as discussed in the guidance document:
Five-Year Re-evaluation Notification Letter (pdf) - a sample letter for schools which can be used to notify building occupants of radon re-evaluation.
Radon In Schools brochure - educates students, teachers, and parents. Schools may request hard copies from the Radon Program. An electronic version can be emailed to faculty, posted on school websites or printed in newsletters.
- Work sheet - determines number of test devices needed
Tracking sheet - records test device information for the analytical laboratories
When elevated levels of radon are found in schools, steps will be taken by school personnel to have the radon reduced. Radon mitigation is appropriate for school rooms where the initial and follow-up short-term radon test results average at 4.0 pCi/L or more.
Tips for Radon Mitigation in Schools:
Radon mitigation professionals will obtain all necessary building permits and utilize licensed electrician and plumbers for all applicable components of work rendered
Post-mitigation radon testing will not be conducted by the mitigation professional but by a third party. Post-mitigation testing will be done between 2 weeks and 30 days after installation of the radon reduction system.
Hire Nationally Certified Mitigation Professionals to perform radon mitigation. Mitigation professionals fill out the School Mitigation Report Form(pdf) upon receipt of post-mitigation radon test results and submit to the Radon Program by emailing to DPH.RadonReports@ct.gov. The mitigator and school representative signatures are required on the form.
The Radon Program collaborates with the Connecticut State Department of Education in an effort to build radon resistant schools.
New schools must be built using radon resistant new construction techniques as shown in the EPA document, Radon Prevention in the Design and Construction of Schools and Other Large Buildings. Visit the EPA Publications and Resources website to download a copy. All new school construction in Connecticut in the high and moderate radon potential zone will be required to include these radon resistant techniques according to CGS 10-291(b).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s student-focused radiation website, RadTown, is an interactive, virtual community that provides information for students and teachers about different radiation sources, and provides links to additional information, graphics and content.
EPA’s Radiation Education Activities for middle and high school students (grades 6-12) includes lesson plans covering radiation basics, sources of radiation, radiation protection, exposure versus contamination, uranium mining methods, radon and more. All educational activities are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Vocabulary Materials are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
Please visit RadTown USA at www.epa.gov/radtown
Connecticut Radon Poster Contest:
Would a student that you know enjoy a fun, educational and creative activity? The Connecticut Department of Public Health is proud to announce that our state will sponsor a Radon Poster Contest. Entries for the contest will be accepted until November 10, 2017. Students ages 9-14 from schools and tribal nations are encouraged to create posters that raise radon awareness and encourage radon testing in every home. For more information, read Radon Poster Contest Rules (pdf). Send poster entries to: CT DPH Radon Program, P.O. Box 340308, 410 Capitol Avenue, MS#51-RAD, Hartford, CT 06134