Why Radon Mitigation in Schools is Needed
When most people think about disasters, they often fail to discuss radon. However, the dangers of radon are documented well, and those who are exposed are at significantly greater risk of developing cancer and other diseases. Here are a few of the reasons why radon mitigation in schools is so important and what can be done about it.
What is Radon?
Radon is an element found on the periodic table. While most highly radioactive elements are solid at temperatures found on Earth, radon is a gas. When other elements break down, they often become radon. Because of this, radon incursions are common, and radon mitigation in schools is necessary to prevent breaches.
What Does Radon do?
Radon is inhaled, where it can cause mutations on the lungs. Over time, these mutations can develop into cancers. Radon has been conclusively linked to the development of cancer later in life. There is no conclusive evidence about how the age of exposure affects the development of cancer, but some experts believe that children are at greater risk since they take more breaths per minute than adults. Radon mitigation in schools can protect what is perhaps the most vulnerable population.
Is Radon Common in Schools?
Many schools tend to be older buildings, and they often weren't built to high standards. In addition, older building techniques did not account for the possibility of radon incursions. Because of this, school buildings are at a higher risk than most buildings. Radon mitigation in schools is commonly done by SWAT Environmental.
How are Students Protected
The government requires periodic radon investigations, but many experts believe that these checks are insufficient. Since schools are so large, there are many areas where radon can leak through, where checks may not be sufficient. In addition, radon is notoriously unpredictable, and readings can change dramatically in short periods of time. Radon testing in schools is necessary to detect these leaks. and then schools must respond accordingly to save the future health of the students.
How Does Radon Mitigation in Schools Work?
The first step in the battle against radon is detecting how high levels are. No amount of radon exposure is considered safe, and even small levels can indicate much greater potential for problems. Radon mitigation in schools requires ongoing observation, so experts recommend using radon detectors where radon can exist.
How are Leaks Fixed?
There are a number of techniques that have proven to be effective. For schools with small basements, patching cracks can be an effective form of radon mitigation in schools, and most plans start with this step. However, it is often not enough. Placing an impermeable barrier along the floor can prevent leaks, and this technique is commonly used for large, older schools.
A core tenet of modern radon mitigation in schools is changing the HVAC system. First, it is important to ensure that HVAC systems are not making the problem worse. Pumping air from the basement to classrooms can raise the risk of students being exposed. Radon mitigation in schools sometimes relies on creating a pressure gradient that pushes radon outside, where it will dissipate quickly. Radon mitigation in schools often requires taking multiple approaches, and HVAC tweaks can help.
Cleaning Up Radon?
Many administrators are worried that students may be at risk from exposure to radon that has accumulated. Fortunately, radon decomposes quickly, so radon mitigation in schools is generally sufficient to keep students safe. However, radon eventually decomposes to lead, which can cause health problems as well. SWAT Environmental will ensure that radon levels have been reduced when they perform their radon mitigation in schools, and they will give administrators tools for cleaning the area. Fortunately, a simple sweeping is generally sufficient, and the amount of lead will be small.
How to Find Help
Radon mitigation in schools is a complex process, and administrators will want to work with experienced professionals. By relying on a company that provides rigorous training for employees, such as SWAT Environmental, administrators can know that they are using the best radon mitigation techniques available in schools. In addition, radon mitigation in schools requires ongoing monitoring, and experienced professionals know where to place these monitors. Radon mitigation in schools is essential for protecting student health.