Recent local media reports have noted the lack of required radon testing in Minnesota schools. There is no state requirement to test for radon in schools. Last year, before there was any attention on this issue, Eastern Carver County Schools’ Buildings & Grounds Department began a thorough testing program.
Due to the number of buildings in our school district, Eastern Carver County Schools is on a cycle to test one-third of its facilities each year. Initially, this year, the district tested seven buildings. In fall of 2018, if it is feasible, all remaining facilities will be tested. The district uses an independent contractor for this work, due the laboratory required to analyze results. The testing period is over the fall and winter, when buildings are closed up due to the weather, which provides more accurate results.
The testing occurs in many locations, including all classrooms and also spaces that are not as well ventilated. Due to the air exchange rates in our buildings where staff and students spend their days, there is little to no risk of exposure. Our schools are required to turn over/cycle the air in classrooms very frequently. However, testing also occurs in crawl spaces, boiler rooms, etc. and if there are higher rates of radon detected in places that are occupied, those areas will follow appropriate mitigation. Results of this year’s testing at the Family Learning Center, Chanhassen High School, STAR, Clover Ridge, Jonathan, East Union, and Chanhassen elementary schools have indicated no elevated levels of radon. Results of next year’s testing will be available around this time in 2019.