Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that enters buildings from surrounding soil. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas, the primary source of ionizing radiation to humans.
The level of radon gas present in an area may pose a health hazard to students and staff alike. Testing is the only way to determine how much radon is present in the school, though it is estimated that radon levels in schools are relatively low.
Test results are measured in picoCuries/liter (pCi/L) which are used to establish the action levels recommended by the EPA.
During the 2011-2012 school year, radon testing was performed at Jackson Elementary School. This building was the only site included during this testing due to it being a new facility in the district. A total of five radon testing devices were placed throughout Jackson Elementary School on December 1, 2011 and then collected on March 27, 2012 for a total of 118 days of testing. All five areas showed results well below the 4.0 pCi/L levels. Therefore, no further testing was required.
The most recent round of radon testing for Shakopee Public Schools took place during the 2016-17 school year. The testing started on November 9, 2016. 373 radon detector devices were placed throughout the district. A total of 317 devices were collected on March 17, 2017 for a total of 138 days of long term sampling. 12 areas in Eagle Creek Elementary, one area in Jackson Elementary, one area in Pearson 6th Grade Center, and one area in Shakopee High School were scheduled for retesting due to levels above 4.0 pCi/L
The above mentioned areas were retested during the 2017-18 school year. This testing started on December 14, 2017 and concluded February 13, 2018. 72 hours of continuous data was collected from each area in this round of testing. All 15 areas showed radon levels well below the 4.0 pCi/L action level for radon during occupied hours. No other testing was needed.