Radon testingRadon testing
Radon testing update

In the spring of 2018, all District 131 schools and buildings were tested for radon during a three-week period. Although radon testing is not required by law, Illinois School Code recommends radon testing every five years for all occupied school buildings.

Carnow Conibear, an environmental consulting company, conducted the testing, and recently provided reports to the District 131 Buildings & Grounds Committee. Complete test results for each district building are available for review on the right.  

A total of 1,614 radon samples were collected as part of the testing, and all buildings were determined to be safe to inhabit. Because readings in a limited number of areas were higher than the U.S. EPA and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L, Carnow Conibear has recommended follow-up testing. This recommendation is consistent with guidance provided by the U.S. EPA and IEMA.

Should any of the test results require further action, remedial recommendations will be provided and appropriate measures will be immediately taken to assure the safety of our students and staff, which is the District’s chief concern.

Carnow Conibear will initiate additional testing this fall that will continue during the school year.  

For questions about District 131 radon testing, please contact Mr. Albert Tijerina at (630) 299-8340.


 

April, 2018

Radon testing will be conducted in all District 131 schools and buildings beginning the week of April 30. Carnow Conibear, an environmental consulting company, will conduct the testing.

For each building, testing will be conducted over a three-day period. It will take about three weeks to complete testing for the entire district, with the final buildings completed by May 18. Results will be available two to three weeks later.

Although radon testing is not required by law, Illinois School Code recommends radon testing every five years for all occupied school buildings.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced from the decay of uranium and radium found in most soil and rock. Natural soils and rock such as granites, shales, and corals, contaminated soils from uranium processing mills, contaminated building materials, and groundwater water supplies directly from wells are a few common sources of radon.

Radon can be found at some level in all indoor and outdoor air, in any type of building, including homes, offices, and schools. Typically, most radon gas is generated from the surrounding soil or bedrock, pulled through the soil or rock by air pressure differentials and enters the structure.

To conduct the testing, representatives from Carnow Conibear will place radon test kits on the ground floor of buildings, in areas where they will avoid interference with building occupants. The testing kit includes a hook that allows it to be hung on an interior wall. The kit is harmless and looks very much like a 4” x 6” padded envelope.

After a two to four-day period, the radon test kits will be collected and sent to a certified laboratory for analysis.

During testing, only the ground-level floor will be tested. The EPA does not recommend testing the upper floors of a school.

While it is possible for upper floors to have elevated radon levels, EPA studies indicate that a radon level for an upper floor room is not likely to exceed levels found on the first floor. Using this indicator, if all measurements in ground-contact rooms are below the action level, radon concentrations on upper floors are likely also to be below 4 pCi/L. Also, any mitigation of school rooms on the ground floor, (if necessary), will also likely reduce radon levels on upper floors.

In Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) requires “closed building” conditions for all radon testing. It is important to adhere to the “closed building” requirements in order to validate the radon test.

The following “closed building conditions” must be followed for a successful radon test:

  • Closed building conditions must begin at least 12 hours prior to the beginning of the testing period and must be maintained throughout the testing period.
  • Normal operation of permanently installed energy recovery ventilators may continue
  • Air conditioning systems that recycle interior air may be operated.
  • All windows must be kept closed.
  • All external doors must be closed except for normal entry and exit. Structural openings due to disrepair or structural defects must be repaired to correct their condition prior to initiation of closed-building conditions.
  • Whole house fans must not be operated. Portable window fans shall be removed from the window or sealed in place. Window air conditioning units shall only be operated in a recirculating mode. If the building contains an air handling system, the air handling system shall not be set for continuous operation unless the air handling equipment is specifically used for radon control and is so labeled. Operation of dryers, range hoods, bathroom fans, and other mechanical systems that draw air out of the building may adversely affect the test results.
  • Fireplaces or combustion appliances shall not be operated unless they are the primary sources of heat for the building. Ceiling fans, portable dehumidifiers, portable humidifiers, portable air filters and window air conditioners shall not be operated within twenty feet of the detector.
  • The radon detection device cannot be moved, covered or altered in any way by staff or occupants.

See the PDF file below for the complete testing schedule. For questions related to the radon testing, contact your building principal or Mr. Albert Tijerina, director of buildings & grounds department at (630) 299-8355.

District 131 Radon testing schedule

Radon testing update

In the spring of 2018, all District 131 schools and buildings were tested for radon during a three-week period. Although radon testing is not required by law, Illinois School Code recommends radon testing every five years for all occupied school buildings.

Carnow Conibear, an environmental consulting company, conducted the testing, and recently provided reports to the District 131 Buildings & Grounds Committee. Complete test results for each district building are available for review on the right.  

A total of 1,614 radon samples were collected as part of the testing, and all buildings were determined to be safe to inhabit. Because readings in a limited number of areas were higher than the U.S. EPA and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L, Carnow Conibear has recommended follow-up testing. This recommendation is consistent with guidance provided by the U.S. EPA and IEMA.

Should any of the test results require further action, remedial recommendations will be provided and appropriate measures will be immediately taken to assure the safety of our students and staff, which is the District’s chief concern.

Carnow Conibear will initiate additional testing this fall that will continue during the school year.  

For questions about District 131 radon testing, please contact Mr. Albert Tijerina at (630) 299-8340.


 

April, 2018

Radon testing will be conducted in all District 131 schools and buildings beginning the week of April 30. Carnow Conibear, an environmental consulting company, will conduct the testing.

For each building, testing will be conducted over a three-day period. It will take about three weeks to complete testing for the entire district, with the final buildings completed by May 18. Results will be available two to three weeks later.

Although radon testing is not required by law, Illinois School Code recommends radon testing every five years for all occupied school buildings.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced from the decay of uranium and radium found in most soil and rock. Natural soils and rock such as granites, shales, and corals, contaminated soils from uranium processing mills, contaminated building materials, and groundwater water supplies directly from wells are a few common sources of radon.

Radon can be found at some level in all indoor and outdoor air, in any type of building, including homes, offices, and schools. Typically, most radon gas is generated from the surrounding soil or bedrock, pulled through the soil or rock by air pressure differentials and enters the structure.

To conduct the testing, representatives from Carnow Conibear will place radon test kits on the ground floor of buildings, in areas where they will avoid interference with building occupants. The testing kit includes a hook that allows it to be hung on an interior wall. The kit is harmless and looks very much like a 4” x 6” padded envelope.

After a two to four-day period, the radon test kits will be collected and sent to a certified laboratory for analysis.

During testing, only the ground-level floor will be tested. The EPA does not recommend testing the upper floors of a school.

While it is possible for upper floors to have elevated radon levels, EPA studies indicate that a radon level for an upper floor room is not likely to exceed levels found on the first floor. Using this indicator, if all measurements in ground-contact rooms are below the action level, radon concentrations on upper floors are likely also to be below 4 pCi/L. Also, any mitigation of school rooms on the ground floor, (if necessary), will also likely reduce radon levels on upper floors.

In Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) requires “closed building” conditions for all radon testing. It is important to adhere to the “closed building” requirements in order to validate the radon test.

The following “closed building conditions” must be followed for a successful radon test:

  • Closed building conditions must begin at least 12 hours prior to the beginning of the testing period and must be maintained throughout the testing period.
  • Normal operation of permanently installed energy recovery ventilators may continue
  • Air conditioning systems that recycle interior air may be operated.
  • All windows must be kept closed.
  • All external doors must be closed except for normal entry and exit. Structural openings due to disrepair or structural defects must be repaired to correct their condition prior to initiation of closed-building conditions.
  • Whole house fans must not be operated. Portable window fans shall be removed from the window or sealed in place. Window air conditioning units shall only be operated in a recirculating mode. If the building contains an air handling system, the air handling system shall not be set for continuous operation unless the air handling equipment is specifically used for radon control and is so labeled. Operation of dryers, range hoods, bathroom fans, and other mechanical systems that draw air out of the building may adversely affect the test results.
  • Fireplaces or combustion appliances shall not be operated unless they are the primary sources of heat for the building. Ceiling fans, portable dehumidifiers, portable humidifiers, portable air filters and window air conditioners shall not be operated within twenty feet of the detector.
  • The radon detection device cannot be moved, covered or altered in any way by staff or occupants.

See the PDF file below for the complete testing schedule. For questions related to the radon testing, contact your building principal or Mr. Albert Tijerina, director of buildings & grounds department at (630) 299-8355.

District 131 Radon testing schedule