Statement : Metro Schools Make Air Quality Improvements - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Statement : Metro Schools Make Air Quality Improvements

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Statement : Metro Schools make air quality improvements

In October, the Metropolitan Health Department, with assistance from Metro Nashville Public Schools' maintenance staff, completed initial testing for radon of all occupied buildings (approximately 180) within Metro Schools. Initial testing began in mid-March. Over the past several months, Metro Schools has used a variety of strategies to reduce radon readings in any rooms where they were above the EPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). Some of these efforts include:

• Increasing air circulation through vents and heating and air systems

• Checking rooms for cracks, holes or any other opening that may allow radon to enter from the ground and sealing those openings

• Checking functionality of mitigation systems, including fans and vents, designed to direct radon gas outside the building

Testing results have identified 36 buildings that have between one (1) and three (3) rooms that exceeded 4 pCi/L. Because radon readings can be affected by numerous factors and the higher reading was taken in just a few rooms, the Health Department began retesting these buildings during the first week of December, 2011 using a 90-day test that will provide a more accurate reading of radon levels. With this test, MNPS expects to see most of these buildings drop below the action level.

The buildings being re-tested include:

East MS Kirkpatrick ES Caldwell ES Dan Mills ES Neely's Bend ES

Whites Creek HS Goodlettsville ES Goodlettsville MS Lillard ES I.T. Creswell MS

Bordeaux ES Buena Vista ES M.L. King HS Gower ES Bellevue MS

Cohn Adult West End MS Eakin ES Rose Park MS Whitsitt ES

Hillsboro HS Glendale ES Fall Hamilton ES Murrell School Cameron MS

Operations Transportation Granbery ES Croft MS Mt. View ES

Glengarry ES Hickman ES Apollo MS Paragon Mills ES Henry Maxwell ES   J.E. Moss ES

In addition, there are seven (7) buildings that had areas with recorded readings above 20 pCi/L. These are Cane Ridge HS, Dalewood building (occupied by Litton MS through this semester), Glencliff ES, Glenview ES, Maplewood HS, Old Hickman (no students assigned to this building) and Stratford HS.

After further review, the district maintenance team believes Maplewood's and Stratford's results may have been significantly influenced by employees turning off the air conditioning to a number of classrooms during the testing weekend. As a next step, MNPS employees will check each of these seven buildings for cracks, holes or other openings that would allow radon to get inside the building and take action to document and close any opening found. The buildings will then be retested. If elevated readings remain, the district will work with Health Department staff to plan what other mitigation steps can be taken.

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