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FCPS To Vote On Radon Repairs Monday

The Fayette County School Board is expected to vote on a potential solution after identifying nine schools that tested positive for high levels of radon.

Nine schools tested positive for the gas. Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as a decay product of radium. It is also the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Early this month, radon was found in nine schools Bryan Station High School, Booker T. Washington Intermediate Academy, Harrison Elementary, Leestown Middle School, Lexington Traditional Magnet School, Mary Todd Elementary, Russell Cave Elementary, SCAPA and Sandersville Elementary.

In 2015, LEX Investigates featured a story on radon testing in public schools. After testing for radon at Locust Elementary returned high levels, all 66 schools were tested.

High radon levels found at nine Fayette County schools

High radon levels were found at nine Fayette County Public Schools, requiring an emergency fix, a district official said Thursday.

The schools were: Bryan Station High, Booker T. Washington Intermediate, Harrison, Leestown Middle, LTMS, Mary Todd, Russell Cave, SCAPA and Sandersville. The remediation will cost $571,846.

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas, according to the EPA website. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It moves up through the ground to the air and into buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

The levels of radon are higher than the 4 picocuries per liter limit recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The highest level found was Harrison Elementary at 15.8 picocuries per level.

Myron Thompson, acting senior director of operations and support, said work will begin during spring break and continue over the summer, all when students are not present.