High radon levels found in Evergreen schools

Worst levels found at Sifton and Marrion elementary schools

Sifton Elementary in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, as seen on Google Street View March 20, 2017
Sifton Elementary in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, as seen on Google Street View March 20, 2017

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Elevated radon levels were found when voluntary testing was done at Evergreen Public Schools, officials said.

Marrion Elementary in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, as seen on Google Street View March 20, 2017
Marrion Elementary in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, as seen on Google Street View March 20, 2017

When the high levels of radon were detected at several Evergreen schools, district officials said they hired an outside contractor to do more extensive tests. Those tests revealed “isolated areas” above a 4.0 reading, a level the EPA considers high, officials said.

Efforts to lower the radon were put into place and 2 sites require more work, Evergreen district officials said. Those are the gym as Sifton Elementary and classroom 106 at Marrion Elementary.

The Sifton gym had a radon reading of 11.1, and the class at Marrion showed a reading of 4.2. Normal activities at each spot have been moved for the time being.

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At Sifton, PE classes will not be held in the gym, sack lunches from another facility will be brought in and students will eat in their classrooms.

Sifton Elementary School parent Patricia Barragan, March 20, 2017 (KOIN)
Sifton Elementary School parent Patricia Barragan, March 20, 2017 (KOIN)

“I feel worried about this problem because my daughter tell me they just stay in their classroom eating because they can’t go to the cafeteria,” parent Patricia Barragan told KOIN 6 News.

Gail Spolar, the Director of Communications for the Evergreen Public Schools, said some parents were upset they weren’t notified sooner. But she said the district told parents as soon as they got the results back from the professional radon contractor.

“We received the results from those two locations (Sifton and Marrion) from the professional testing firm late Thursday the 16th, and notified parents immediately on Friday the 17th,” Spolar told KOIN 6 News via email.

Work is expected to be completed next week.

A radon fact sheet provided to parents of the Evergreen School District: