Radon Testing and Mitigation Update

Testing of additional residences reveal generally low radon levels; mitigation is complete for North Campus Apartments and planning is underway for next steps.


In the weeks since Kenyon announced a comprehensive radon testing program for campus buildings, the College has received a large amount of additional data, reported data about specific residences to the students who live in those residences, and made significant progress in mitigation for residences with elevated radon levels. 

Radon sampling is complete for residential buildings on campus with the exception of a few follow-up tests in cases where sampling devices went missing or technicians could not gain access, and laboratory results have been received for most samples. As previously reported, many of the North Campus Apartment (NCA) samples were above 4 pCi/L, the threshold for mitigation recommended by the EPA, but the vast majority of samples taken from other residences have been below 4 pCi/L.

Across all tests (for NCAs as well as other residences), the overall median reading is 1.65 pCi/L, and over 70% of tests are below the 4 pCi/L threshold. All residential buildings were sampled with multiple test kits; residences with any samples above 4 pCi/L will undergo mitigation measures, even if the building’s median result is below the 4 pCi/L threshold. This level of mitigation goes beyond industry standards, which are generally based on median results. 

Mitigation is complete for NCAs, with planning underway for mitigation in other student residences. Last week, test packets were placed and retrieved in all academic and administrative buildings (as well as the Wright Center and the Mount Vernon Lofts). Test results are expected to be received soon, with mitigation occurring as needed. 

Contractors will attempt to install concealed interior radon mitigation systems within existing pipe or duct chases when possible. Otherwise, exterior systems consisting of fan housings and vertical PVC or copper pipes will be installed, with efforts taken to combine multiple systems and minimize visual clutter. 

A summary of data collected so far is below:

Total Residential Tests Elevated Tests  
382 112 29.3%
Range (pCi/L) Tests  
0 - 4.0 270 70.7%
4.1 - 20 71 18.6%
20.1 - 40 25 6.54%
40.1 - 60 9 2.36%
60.1 - 80 4 1.05%
80+ 3 .785%
Total 382 100%
Median of all tests 1.65 pCi/L  
Median of elevated tests 15 pCi/L