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|County Says Radon Levels Need Additional Research
|The Knox County Board heard information that the County's Building Committee has been researching since early June at Wednesday night's meeting.
Information was provided to board members from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) that radon readings could be up to 100 before it should be a concern for commercial areas.
Radon is a gas that has been linked to certain forms of cancer. The radon level reading of 4 - which has been widely cited is only considered appropriate for residential areas, according to District One Republican Rollie Paulsgrove - who has been working to get certain interpretations of the law in writing.
Further explanations show that the numbers are calculated by dividing the 100 level reading by 7 days per week and any reading of 14 or above is recommended to be mitigated under federal law.
District Three Democrat Pam Davidson says that equipment should rearranged to avoid dangerous areas.
"As a County Board person I would feel if there would be nothing down there, if we can move that equipment out of there so they would not have to go down there period, I would be really happy," says Davidson.
A few employees of the County were present at Wednesday's meeting to speak out against the lack of action on the matter.
Future radon testing will be completed in the Courthouse after the installation of a new HVAC system. District Two Democrat Paul Stewart says the HVAC system has the potential to remedy the situation.
"I think it was the intent of the renovations of the heating and air conditioning system, that there would be increased ventilation and that the amounts of radon in the basement, the goal was to be reduced, and I think that is the aim," says Stewart.
The matter may take longer than previous thought, however, as approval of bids for the project were taken off last night's agenda at the last minute due to inadequate funding levels.
County Board Chair Greg Bacon says it's not an exact science and requires baby steps.
"I don't think we can throw three, four, five-hundred thousand dollars at it and it would guarantee that it's going to be gone," says Bacon. "I think you have to do it in various steps."
Financing Phase Two renovations to the Knox County Courthouse will be reviewed in Committee before a solution is brought to the full board for approval.
|06 26 13 by Newsroom
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