Radon In Schools


Training on Radon Testing for School Personnel

On September 25, 2014 a webinar was given to to public school employees regarding radon testing in schools. A copy of the power point presentation can be seen by clicking the following: School Testing Webinar Slides. The recorded webinar can be viewed on the VDH You Tube Channel by clicking the following link:2014 Radon School Training.

The 1993 Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that requires all schools in the Commonwealth to be tested for radon after July 1, 1994, as well as any new school buildings.  Each school is required to maintain files of radon test results.  The full text of the law is provided at the bottom of this page.

In general, radon test results for schools were below the EPA guidance of 4 pCi/L of radon in air.  Although there were several test results that indicated high radon levels, a review of the data and testing methodology indicated most of these test results were not valid due to an insufficient test period or the improper testing of closed areas such as boiler and storage rooms.

For the few schools that did have elevated radon levels, the school’s ventilation system was found not to be working properly, i.e. dirty filters or an unbalanced air flow.  In these instances, radon levels were easily reduced after correcting the ventilation problem.

If you have any questions regarding radon levels in any particular school, contact that school’s administration.

Note to School Administrators:

  • Radon test kits are available that may be placed and retrieved by school employees, then mailed to a laboratory for processing.
  • Test only the lowest classrooms that are in contact with the ground in every section of the building. Start by testing all classrooms that are built partially or completely below ground level. It is not necessary to test any classrooms that might be built on top of these subterranean rooms. Then test all other classrooms that are located on the ground floor whether they are built over a slab or a crawlspace. Do not test storerooms, utility rooms, closets, locker rooms or rest rooms.
  • Testing for radon is simple- contact VDH at (804) 864-8150 and ask our radon staff for assistance.

Code of Virginia Section § 22.1-138. Minimum Standards for Public School Buildings

A. The Board of Education shall prescribe by regulation minimum standards for the erection of or addition to public school buildings governing instructional, operational, health and maintenance facilities where these are not specifically addressed in the Uniform Statewide Building Code.

B. By July 1, 1994, every school building in operation in the Commonwealth shall be tested for radon pursuant to procedures established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for radon measurements in schools.

School buildings and additions opened for operation after July 1, 1994, shall be tested for radon pursuant to such EPA procedures and regulations prescribed by the Board of Education pursuant to subsection A of this section. Each school shall maintain files of its radon test results and make such files available for review. The division superintendent shall report radon test results to the Department of Health.
(1980, c. 559; 1993, c. 765.)


Office of Radiological Health | 109 Governor Street, 7th Floor | Richmond, VA 23219

Telephone (804) 864-8150 | Fax: (804) 864-8155