MALB Protocol for Conducting Measurements of Radon and Radon Decay Products In Schools and Large Buildings Introduction Scope Summary and Introduction This standard specifies procedures, minimum requirements and general guidance for measurement of radon and radon decay product concentrations in schools and large buildings. THIS DOCUMENT INCLUDES: I. Informational: Introduction to Radon II. Informational: Guidance for Building Managers III. Protocol for Conducting Measurements of Radon and Radon Decay Products in Schools and Large Buildings The protocol includes instructions on where to test, strategies for conducting reliable tests, reporting and associated quality control measures. Significance of Purpose Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the general population. 1 For most school children and staff, the second largest contributor to their radon exposure is likely to be their school. 2 Thousands of classrooms nationwide have elevated radon levels, needlessly exposing hundreds of thousands of students and staff to this serious health risk. 3 With similar implications, a correlation has been observed between radon levels in homes, and workplaces in the same area. 4 Radon in U.S. homes causes approximately 21,000 U.S. lung cancer deaths each year. 5 Whether at home, work or school, an individual’s exposure to radon gas combines over time to increase the risk of preventable lung cancer. This document contains minimum requirements and guidance designed to respond to the health threat in schools and large buildings. Significance of Use These protocols are intended to guide citizens, radon measurement professionals, property owners, facility managers, building occupants, consultants, regulators, radiation control programs, radon mitigation professionals and anyone concerned with radon measurement in schools and large buildings. 1 World Health Organization, “WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon: A Public Health Perspective” 2009 2 USEPA, “Radon Measurement In Schools”, July 1993 (EPA-402-R-92-014) 3 USEPA, “Tools For Schools”, June 2010” 4 Silvia Bucci, Gabriele Pratesi, Maria Letizia Viti, Marta Pantani, Francesco Bochicchio and Gennaro Venoso, “Radon in Workplaces: First results of an extensive survey and comparison with radon in homes”, 2011 5 National Academy of Sciences, “Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation” (BEIR VI Report) 1999 Applicability: The practices in this standard can be adopted as requirements for contractual relationships or as recommendations or requirements of a state, country, private proficiency program or other jurisdiction of authority. AARST recommends that any authority or jurisdiction considering substantial modifications of this document as a condition of its use seek consensus within the consortium process at AARST Consortium on National Radon Standards prior to adopting a modified version. This provides the jurisdiction with a higher degree of expertise and offers the Consortium on National Radon Standards an opportunity to update this document if appropriate. Historical Perspective In the 1950s, studies confirmed increased incidence of radon-induced lung cancer for workers in underground mines. In 1970, OSHA promulgated a standard for occupational exposure limits to airborne radioactive materials that is currently designated as 29 CFR 1910.1096. In the 1980s, studies found that exposure to radon in homes can exceed exposures found in studies of mine workers. In 1988, the Indoor Radon Abatement Act authorized U.S. state and federal activities to reduce citizen risk of lung cancer caused by indoor radon concentrations. Since the early 1990s, USEPA has advised all U.S. schools to test for radon and to reduce levels to below 4 pCi/L 2 . In 1999, with publication of BEIR VI 5 , the National Academy of Sciences confirmed that any exposure to radon poses a degree of risk. In addition, the Academy’s BEIR VII committee stated that exposure to radiation, including any concentration of radon, carries risk. In 2009, the World Health Organization’s WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon confirmed the association between indoor radon exposure and lung cancer, even at the relatively low radon concentrations found in residential buildings. 1 Initiated in 2010, the U.S. Federal Radon Action Plan highlights an ultimate public health goal of eliminating preventable radon-induced cancer. This plan is the result of a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DOD), Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Interior (DOI), Veterans Affairs (VA) and the General Services Administration (GSA). Document History The EPA developed informational guidance and recommended practices for measuring radon in schools with its July 1993 publication of Radon Measurement in Schools (EPA 402-R-92-014) . Related guidance was published in the EPA documents Indoor Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Device Protocols (EPA 402-R-92-004, July 1992) and Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Product Proof Review Copy Unauthorized copying is prohibited