Radon Testing in Schools
When a school decides to conduct radon testing it is important to actively educate parents, staff, and students about radon before, during and after testing. Providing complete information will increase the likelihood of a cooperative response and help prevent unnecessary alarm if elevated levels are found. This educational process can occur through mailings, public meetings, e-mail messages, newsletters, and classroom discussions about radon. Sample letters to parents, a Fact Sheet for Parents, a Fact Sheet for School Staff, and Frequently Asked Questions will assist school administrators with the dialog on school testing.
Teachers are encouraged to cover radon in their lessons before or during testing. A set of Radon Alert Lesson Plans were developed by national experts for use by teachers of elementary (grade four and above), junior high, and high school classes.
Once school testing is completed, the DEP recommends posting the radon testing report in a public area accessible to all parents and staff. Posting the document Understanding Radon Testing Results along with the report will make it easier for parents and staff to understand the numbers and answer many of their questions.
School officials may choose to apply for an exemption to conduct radon testing in their schools or contract the testing to a certified radon testing business. Certified professionals and exempt school officials must follow the DEP Guidance Document – Testing for Radon in Schools.
The exemption that is given by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for testing in schools allows only the individual that completes the training course and receives the exemption to test schools in his/her school district. Should the individual become employed by another district, the exemption is NOT transferable. The exemption is not transferable to any other individual and no individual may assist with any portion of the testing unless he/she also has an exemption within the same district.
The exemption provides the individual with an identification number that must be used when conducting testing and filling out all testing forms. The number will be tracked by the DEP and used as identification to show the individual that deployed and retrieved the device. In addition, the county, district and school codes must be entered on all test forms. The exempt individual will obtain test devices from a certified radon measurement business that is approved for school testing.
To obtain an exemption from the certification requirements established under N.J.S.A. 26:2D-70 et seq., school officials must do the following:
- Complete a DEP approved training course.
- Submit an application to the DEP for exemption. (applications are handed out upon completion of the training course)
The following course providers are approved by the DEP to provide training for school officials that wish to apply for an exemption:
- COURSES ARE EXPECTED TO BE APPROVED BY DECEMBER 1, 2015. Please call the Radon Section at (609) 984-5425 for an updated course approval schedule.