Sunday, February 7, 2016

Radon hot spots revealed in new MCPS tests

Roughly two months after the Parents' Coalition initially revealed the MCPS had not taken remediation action to reduce
high levels of radon at dozens of schools, new test results are gradually being made public.   The newest results can be found at:

DuFief Elementary School is one of many that continue to show high levels of radon.   The new tests show that 24 of the 50 rooms have levels at or above the EPA "action level" of 4.0 pCi/L.   Note, however, that a level below 4.0 pCi/L is not considered a "safe" level.


  1. Have you requested the raw data. This is ridiculous. They should give full reports.

    1. Everything we have obtained has been made public.

      If parents and guardians cared about this issue they would be up in arms like parents in Baltimore County over the lack of air conditioning in classrooms, and Howard County over the mold in schools.

      This is Montgomery County. We simply do not have parents and guardians that advocate for their children on these issues. The PTAs have dwindled in membership and, after signing confidentiality agreements, meet for breakfast, lunch and dinner with Board of Education members and MCPS administrators for taxpayer paid for meals every month. They couldn't be bothered to actually speak out for children. If you want a community that advocates for public school children you will need to move.

    2. And don't even pretend that we have a Board of Education that cares about this issue! They too are way too busy at breakfasts, dinners, and cocktail parties tweeting about who they have met and how MCPS is such a wonderful school system. Right now they are spending their time clapping about hiring a superintendent embroiled in litigation involving behind closed doors contract negotiations in his previous district.

      Radon? Children?

  2. Maybe folks want to learn more about proper radon testing like how a more complete test would look at the levels over 3 months. For example at Fallsmeade some rooms were over the 4.o but then decreased a few years later? Anyone wonder why? its al about the testing folks!
    Fallsmead has a problem and the kids should have been moved years ago. Shame on MCPS.
    How many years were children sitting in that? Fallsmead has several rooms above 4 and a couple right at 4 or 3.5 . It states the school had remediation but why not the ther schools? Why just Falls meade?

    Radon is high in Rooms B2, B4, B3,B5 B6, N19, N21, N22A, N24, N25, T1, T2, T3, T4 T5 T6 T7 and the main office Oops thats almost all the rooms. Has MCPS lost its mind?

    Westlansd parents take note--- Room 126, Room 137 at 6.2, room 100D and 100E are toxic.

    Why did the school just do three day sampling?

    Some Facts
    Radon is a radioactive gas – “unsafe at any level” (per the U.S. EPA). The risk to your health increases proportionally to the radon level. Women and children are more vulnerable.

    EPA recommends that you should “fix your home” if the radon level is above 4 pCi/L (the Action Level) and “consider fixing your home” it the radon level is above 2 pCi/L.

    The World Health Organization sets the recommended radon reference level for residential structures at 2.7 pCi/L (100 Bq/m3).

    1. Fallsmead remediation was completed over the winter break. The post remediation testing shows the levels have been lowered:

    2. Thank you, Louis Wilen!!! Without your advocacy, Fallsmead would still be at prior levels of radon. Mr. Wilen is a true community hero who cared about the health of staff and students.

  3. 3 days tests are not accurate!
    "EPA recognizes the temporal variation of radon levels and cautions that short-term measurements may not be accurate (The Citizen’s Guide). If the result is at or above 4 pCi/L, EPA recommends another short-term test. However, studies show that two short-term radon measurements are only marginally better than a single test.

    Another confounding issue is the accuracy of short-term radon test kits. EPA’s guidelines on accuracy set individual relative errors at below 25% and precision at coefficient of variation below 10% at 4 pCi /L. But studies have shown that most radon kits do not meet these guidelines."

    When the short-term result is in the "gray area" of 2 – 8 pCi/L, it is a game of roulette with the kids.

    The epa states "there is no known safe level of radon"
    Read more at the EPA site

  4. This is just fascinating. Where are the parents?? And the teachers who sit in those rooms all day long?? Compare to the outrage in Flint, Michigan. I am continually amazed at the parents who don't give a damn about the health of their children. Just keep voting for the same BOE candidates and then when your child finds out they have cancer down the road, you'll know why.

    1. It is hard to visualize and quantify an invisible hazard until it's too late,
      e.g. carbon monoxide.


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