Radon Red Zone Leads to WHS Testing

Graphic by American Association Radon Scientists and Technologists Inc.

Graphic by American Association Radon Scientists and Technologists Inc.

Faizaan Amanat and Sean Carroll

  The Wayzata School District has been administering tests that will indicate if there is a presence of radon in the building.
  Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that could cause lung cancer for students and staff if left unchecked.
  Every five years all districts with the Long Term Facility Maintenance (LTFM) Plan must go forth with a test for the deadly noble gas according to the Minnesota Statute as stated by Health and Safety Supervisor Chandala Nagendrappa.
  According to the American Association of Radon Sciences and Technologists, Hennepin County is in a radon red zone. Note while viewing the map that pCi/L stands for picocuries per liter and a picocurie is the equivalent to one gram of radium.
  The last testing was in the year 2013, according to Nagendrappa. The tests will cover a every school in the district.
  “The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommends that measurements be taken in all frequently-occupied rooms in contact with the ground or located above unoccupied rooms in ground contact (e.g., rooms above basements, crawlspaces, or utility tunnels). We are testing frequently-occupied rooms including classrooms, offices, break rooms, laboratories, cafeterias, libraries, auditoriums, and gymnasiums,” said Nagendrappa.
  The test will be conducted in all twelve Wayzata School buildings according to Ms. Nagendrappa underneath her supervision.
  In accordance to Nagendrappa, the radon test is funded through the Health and Safety Budget from the Buildings and Grounds Department, and once the results came back only two samples came back over the standard of 4 pCi/L both in Oakwood elementary School, one being in room A127D at 5.9 an the other in room A10 at 4.3 pCi/L