Test your school for radon
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon comes from the breakdown of rock and soil and can enter buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation. You can't see or smell it. The only way to know if your school has high radon levels is to test. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or your local Radon Information Center to learn how to get started.
Learn more about getting started by reviewing our Radon Testing in Wisconsin Schools, P-02351, fact sheet. For more detailed information about radon testing in schools, review the National Consensus Standards for Schools and Large Buildings.
Actions to address radon in schools
It is recommended that all schools be tested for radon and retested after any renovations or changes to the building's HVAC system. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services strongly recommends using a licensed radon testing professional to conduct testing at your school. Consider the following:
Two choices are available to test your school for radon; a short-term test (2-90 days) or a long-term test (more than 90 days).
- Short-term tests are the quickest way to test for radon. They should be conducted on school days only (not holidays, vacations, or weekends), in cold-weather months, using reliable short-term testing devices.
- Long-term tests will give a result that is more likely to represent the school year average radon level. This test can be conducted throughout the entire school year.
Test all frequently occupied rooms, including rooms with ground contact and those directly above unoccupied spaces that are in contact with the ground, such as crawlspaces and tunnels.
Conduct follow-up testing and then take corrective actions in all frequently occupied rooms that test at or above 4 pCi/L.
Download the Environmental Protection Agency's School Indoor Air Quality Assessment Mobile App.
This free app provides schools with user-friendly guidance on how to identify, resolve, and prevent indoor air quality problems, using low- and no-cost measures. Features include:
- A school walkthrough checklist
- Reference guides
- Strategies to address radon, asthma triggers, and other indoor air issues
- The Environmental Protection Agency's Radon Measurement in Schools: Guidance for school administrators and facility managers on how to test their school for radon.
- Review the Framework for Effective School Indoor Air Quality Management: Managing Radon in Schools. This tool provides a system to address radon risk and other indoor air issues in the school setting.
Have questions or need help? Contact your local Radon Information Center by calling