High radon levels found at Arts and Technology High School in Wilsonville
A radon level exceeding 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air was found in two rooms at Arts and Technology High School in Wilsonville during a routine test Oct. 20.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency considers 4.0 pCi/L the "action level" — the level at which the school must take action to reduce the levels of the harmful gas. In the October tests, the two rooms were found to have levels of 4.5 and 5.6 pCi/L.
Radon is an ubiquitous gas that is harmful at high levels. After smoking, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.
District officials conducted another test on Nov. 10, which confirmed the high levels. In those follow-up tests, the rooms were found to have levels of 3.8 and 4.9 pCi/L.
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District plans to lower the radon levels at the high school with adjustments to the HVAC system and installation of exhaust fans. The district said as soon as the work is done, a new test will be done to ensure the levels are appropriate.
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