Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Schools Get Green Light on Radon Test Results

Both Plainville High School and the Middle School of Plainville have no elevated levels of radon, according to reports from the State of Connecticut. In compliance with Connecticut General Statute 10-220(d), schools are required to inspect and evaluate the indoor air quality of school buildings, including testing for radon. The required inspection and evaluation of indoor air quality includes evaluation of radon in the air and water, and must be completed prior to 2008.

According to the State of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health, radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that usually comes from soils and rock, but also may come from well water. Testing is the only way to find out if radon is a problem. An informational guide from the Department of Health’s Radon Program identifies radon exposure as a leading cause of lung cancer.

Initial radon testing that was performed last February at Plainville High School and the Middle School of Plainville was not accepted by the State of Connecticut because of problems with the lab equipment used to analyze the test canisters. As a result, both schools were retested in December of 2006. Both Linden and Wheeler elementary schools passed radon tests conducted in 2005; Louis Toffolon School will not be tested until pending building renovations are complete.

District staff, led by Facilities Director Steve Busel conducted the school radon testing in Plainville, with the assistance of each school’s “Tools For Schools” Committee and the Connecticut Department of Public Health Radon Program. The Plainville school district began participating in the Tools For Schools program, coordinated by the Department of Public Health, in 2004, as a result of legislation requiring all school districts to have an indoor air quality program in place; the Tools For Schools program meets this requirement. As part of Tools For Schools, each school in Plainville has assembled a committee of staff members responsible for facilitating surveys on indoor air quality, and identifying any related air quality issues. Through the Tools For Schools program, the Plainville school district participated in an information and training session on radon and other issues relative to indoor air quality, sponsored by the Department of Public Health. As a result of this participation, the school district received free radon test kits to conduct mandatory radon testing in the school district, at a savings of more than $20,000.00. Plainville Community Schools was one of approximately seven school districts in Connecticut to complete the school building radon testing through the free test kit program.

“We’re happy that the radon test results came back favorable, well below the action level set by the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, we were able to achieve a significant savings on radon testing through our participation in the Tools for Schools Program. We are proud to take a leadership role in providing a safe, comfortable, and productive environment for our students and staff so that we can achieve our core mission – educating students,” commented Facilities Director Steve Busel.

"The staff in the facilities department has been extremely supportive and instrumental in our efforts to provide a safe, eco-friendly environment for education in our schools," Superintendent Kathleen Binkowski stated.

-Posted on February 6, 2007 at 12:45 PM

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