On Thursday, April 13, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Pamela McDowell issued an update via email to residents of Rand Hall on the radon tests taking place in the building. In the email, McDowell also revealed that the school conducted tests not just for radon but also for mold.
“As we previously informed you, the College recently retained consultants from Braun Intertec to address questions raised about health conditions of Rand Hall,” McDowell wrote. “Per the consultants’ recommendations, the College identified multiple locations throughout Rand Hall to test for radon levels and the presence of mold. To ensure we obtained test results that were more likely to yield ‘worst case scenario’ results, tests were conducted during spring break when doors and windows remained closed throughout the entire testing period.”
With the tests concluded and the results returned, McDowell brought news of relief for Rand residents.
“We recently received the results from these tests and are pleased to report that the building is healthy,” McDowell wrote. “As was recommended, 30 percent of the rooms in Rand were tested. With regard to the radon testing, all but one room tested below the EPA threshold of 4.0 picocuries level (pCi/L).”
Concerning the room that was above the EPA threshold, McDowell stated that Residence Life will continue to look into it.
“The one room where the levels exceeded this level were only slightly above at 4.3 pCi/L. The residents of this room have been notified,” McDowell wrote. “As prescribed by the EPA and our consultants, we will continue to monitor the room, and abatement measures will be taken if further testing confirms this is needed.” The mold tests also concluded no significant indoor fungal growth.
On Wednesday, April 19, McDowell sent out another email to Rand residents, including statements from Braun Intertec regarding the results of the tests.
“This testing event suggests the concentrations in the building are generally below the EPA recommended action level,” the report read.
With these tests being conducted in Rand, Director of Environmental Health and Safety Elisabeth Haase said that tests outside of Rand will still occur in the coming months.
“We will also test (during the upcoming summer) any honor houses that have bedrooms in the basement,” Haase said.