RMS-LB 2018 Radon Mitigation Standards for Schools and Large Buildings Introduction Scope Summary and Introduction This standard specifies practices, minimum requirements and general guidance for mitigation of radon in existing schools and large buildings including both low-rise and high-rise schools and large buildings. The techniques addressed in this standard provide whole- building consideration yet also apply when implemented to portions of a building or individual occupied spaces. This standard is intended to: • Provide minimum requirements and uniform standards that emphasize safety, system quality and effectiveness in the design and installation of mitigation systems for existing schools and large buildings. • Provide a means to evaluate radon mitigation systems in schools and large buildings. 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 Be it 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. Historical Perspective In the 1950s, studies confirmed increased incidence of radon-induced lung cancer for workers in underground mines. In the 1980s, studies found that exposure to radon in homes can exceed exposures found in studies of mine workers. Since 1988, the Indoor Radon Abatement Act has authorized U.S. state and federal activities to reduce citizen risk of lung cancer caused by indoor radon concentrations. 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 Since the early 1990s, USEPA has advised all U.S. schools to test for radon and to reduce levels to below 4 pCi/L 3 . In 1999, with the publication of BEIR VI 3 , the National Academy of Sciences confirmed that any exposure to radon holds 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 levels found in residential buildings. 1 Initiated in 2010, the U.S. Federal Radon Action Plan (FRAP), followed by the National Radon Action Plan (NRAP), has highlighted an ultimate public health goal of eliminating preventable radon-induced cancer. The FRAP 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). And the NRAP, led by American Lung Association, represents a collaborative effort between several federal and national organizations including American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) and the Conference of Radon Control Program Directors (CRCPD). (GSA). Document History Previous radon mitigation standards were developed primarily for radon mitigation in single-family, detached residential buildings. They were not intended to address the wider scope of challenges associated with schools and large buildings. Updates for RMS-LB 2018 • Much of the content in ANSI/AARST radon mitigation standards is now harmonized with specific additional provisions relative to each documents scope. For instance, RMS-LB (schools and large buildings) includes an expanded building investigation procedure that can be helpful for any large building including mitigations installed per RMS-MF (multifamily buildings). SGM-SF (existing homes) expands with guidance and requirements when mitigating chemical vapor intrusion and provides more detail on non-ASD passive mitigation methods. SGM-SF’s Companion Guidance also expands more on sub-slab diagnostics and common code requirements. • Efforts have been made to add clarity by highlighting editorial content as informational. • Section 1.9.2 adds reference to ANSI/AARST SGM-SF Soil Gas Mitigation for Existing Homes when applying radon mitigation techniques herein for other hazardous soil gasses such as for chemical vapor intrusion into buildings.