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Iowa Department of Public Health Offers Guidance on Testing Child Care Centers for Radon

by Margaret Henderson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has published radon testing protocols for child care centers. Instructions cover:
• Testing placement;
• Test results;
• Mitigation;
• Additional information; and
• Other resources.

The section on testing placement addresses which rooms should or should not be tested, and discusses testing on the lowest levels and levels above those; kitchens, and storage areas; basements not used by children; and crawlspaces. The guidance includes recommendations on how many tests are needed to cover an area of 2000 square feet, where devices should be placed, and what the test results mean. The IDPH recommends that if the result of the initial test is 4.0-7.9 pCi/L, an additional test should be conducted (a long-term test using an alpha track detector). If the result of the initial test is greater than or equal to 8.0 pCi/L, IDPH recommends conducting a follow-up short-term test. Retesting after mitigation, remodeling or after having heating and air conditioning work performed is recommended. Testing is recommended every two years. Mitigation is to be conducted by only licensed radon mitigation specialists and the department provides a listing of those specialist. http://idph.iowa.gov/radon/fix.

To review the protocol for testing child care centers in Iowa, see