MSD says radon concerns at Griffin Creek Elementary are resolved

The Medford School District says the radon concerns at Griffin Creek Elementary are now resolved. (Courtesy MGN Image)

In December of 2018, the Medford School District released a notice to the community the Griffin Creek Elementary School tested positive for radon in five of its classrooms.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and radioactive gas that is naturally occurring around the world. It is also a carcinogen that travels through the soil and enters buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation.

Now the school district says it has taken measures to eliminate potential access routes and checking HVAC systems. Over President's Day weekend, February 16-18, a "sub-slab depressurization system was installed" at the school. This system created an environment that allows the majority of the radon gas to bypass the classroom and be vented outside.

Re-testing of radon levels in the classrooms happened the following weekend in late February. The Medford School District also conducted independent testing to verify the mitigation worked.

The tests showed the five classrooms in question were "well below the actionable level of 4.0 pCi/L," as depicted below.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends reducing indoor concentrations of radon below 4.0 pCi/L. The action level is not health-based; like lead, there is no amount of radon that is safe. However, there is no way to avoid the naturally occurring gas altogether. The average outdoor level of radon nationally is 0.4 pCi/L. The indoor average nationally is 1.3 pCi/L

MSD says it will continue to follow its five-year plan to test all schools in the district. At this time, 11 schools have been tested, and the first round of testing is expected to be completed by January 1st, 2021.

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