OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — Oldham County School has tested for cancer-causing radon gas in a few schools but has not tested every school in the district.

In 2018, we sent open records requests to twenty districts in our area. We found that the Oldham County School District had tested a few facilities over various years but scores were below EPA acceptable standards although environmental factors could influence those scores. 

In 2019, we checked with the districts again to see if it was doing anything differently. Oldham County School District said it has not conducted any additional testing.

Here is a summary of what we found:

  • three schools and the Arts Center were tested
  • Centerfield Elementary was tested in 1997. Results from six radon tests ranged from 1.0 - 0.6 pCi/L.
  • Goshen Elementary was tested in 2002. Results from eight radon tests ranged from 0.8 - 0.3 pCi/L.
  • Harmony Elementary was tested in 2007. Results from seven radon tests ranged from 1.8 - less than 0.3 pCi/L.
  • Oldham County Schools Arts Center was tested in 2012. Results from twelve tests ranged from 2.0 - 0 pCi/L.

To contact Oldham County Schools about radon testing, email District Superintendent.

RECORDS:

We've included part of the records we received through open records requests to display the most pertinent data.

Centerfield

Goshen

Harmony

Oldham County Schools Arts Center

INFORMATION FROM THE EXPERTS:

Kentucky schools are not required to test for radon but being exposed to the average indoor levels in Oldham County (2 to 4 pCi/L) could be equivalent to smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day, according to the EPA.

 Approximately 21,000 Americans die annually from radon-induced lung cancer, including people who have quit smoking or never smoked.

The EPA recommended action level is at 4 pCi/L, while the World Health Organization recommends action at 2.7 pCi/L. Both organizations are clear, no level of radon exposure is safe, especially long-term. 

Changes in the building and environment could cause changes in radon exposure levels, therefore the EPA recommends retesting every building at least every other year to make sure levels do not reach dangerous levels.

The only way to know if levels of radon gas are dangerous is to test and retest.

MORE RESOURCES:

This is part of a WHAS11 investigation into radon exposure in schools. Read the full 2018 report.

Watch the follow-up 2019 report.

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Contact FOCUS reporter John Charlton atjcharlton@whas11.com. Follow him onTwitter (@JCharltonNews) andFacebook.

Contact FOCUS producer Andrea Ash at aash@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@AndreaAshNews) and Facebook.

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