RMS-MF 2018 Radon Mitigation Standards for Multifamily Buildings Introduction Scope Summary and Introduction This standard specifies practices, minimum requirements and general guidance for mitigation of radon in existing multifamily buildings including both low-rise and high-rise multifamily buildings. The techniques addressed in this standard provide whole- building consideration yet also apply to portions of a multifamily building or individual dwellings. 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 multifamily buildings. • Provide a means to evaluate mitigation systems in multifamily buildings. Significance of Purpose Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the general population and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. 1 Most people receive their greatest exposure to radon in their home or dwelling. Radon concentrations in ground-contact apartments have been found to be similar to those in low-rise residential buildings located in the same area. 2 Radon in homes and dwellings is the cause of approximately 21,000 U.S. lung cancer deaths each year. 3 This risk is largely preventable. This document contains minimum requirements and guidance designed to respond to the health threat of radon in dwellings within multifamily 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. It is urged that all homes be tested for radon as a result of these findings. Health authorities urging all homes be tested include: The office of the U.S. Surgeon General; the American Lung Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Safety Council and many more. 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 Swedish Radiation Protection Authority, “Radon in Estonia Dwellings, Stockholm” 2003; and Valmari, T, Arvela, T and Reisbacka, “Radon in Finnish Apartment Buildings, Radiation Protection Dosimetry” 2012 3 National Academy of Sciences, “Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation” (BEIR VI Report) 1999 In 1999, with publication of BEIR VI 3 , the National Academy of Sciences confirmed that any exposure to radon holds a degree of 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 multifamily residential housing. Updates for RMS-MF 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 mitigation project. 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 1.6.2 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. • Section 7.2.2 (Slope required) adds flexibility when continuous downward pipe slope for active soil depressurization (ASD) systems is not achievable by requiring an alternate method for water drainage. • Section 7.2.5 (ASD pipe materials) adds clarity for requirements on alternatives to Schedule 40 plastic pipe.