25, parent coordinator who runs the program through the Parent Information Center. Ever since Morsi was deposed, the unrelenting complainers and the 800-word posters. Minn. before moving here Radon can enter a building through cracks in concrete joints between basement floors and loose-fitting pipes At Olds’ apartment it seeped in through the basementThe EPA suggests homeowners fix their home when exposure levels reach 4 pCi/L That’s the equivalent of 200 chest X-rays in one year according to the Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals The average indoor radon level is 13 Test results from 32 Six Plex apartment units this month show radon levels ranged from 10 to 79 according to UND reports The university had previously tested four other units and discovered elevated levels but could not release the results because of student privacy protection laws said spokesman Peter Johnson Children exposedChildren are particularly vulnerable when exposed to radon Elementary school-age children exposed to a radon level of 4 for one school year — eight hours per day 180 days in the year — will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a power plant according to Radoncom the website affiliated with the radon testing company used by UNDSeveral Six Plex residents such as Olds have children younger than 10One mother was pregnant while she lived in the units and another had newborns according to a Facebook group discussion started by eight residentsAmber Heise and her family moved out of their unit recently after finding out her radon level was 36 and one of her children Crosby 1 had elevated lead levels UND waived the fee for the family to move into a different apartment and they moved out within a week she saidHeise a physician whose husband is in law school said infants breathe at a rate of 30 to 60 breaths per minute which is more than twice as fast as adults"We all slept in that basement all of our rooms were downstairs" she said "If this was your newborn and you read what radon does you would not have placed him in your basement"Heidi Soliman’s family was one of the first to contact the housing office after notification had been sent and her apartment was among the first to be mitigatedHer family had the highest reported radon level — 105 in the basement — of all the Six Plex units That’s the equivalent of being exposed to 500 X-rays a year she said Her family includes three children a 4-year-old 2-year-old and 11-month-old and they moved in a little over three years agoAfter UND placed a ventilation system in the levels only reduced to 68 and 42 on the main level but because the university plans on installing a larger system her family plans on staying she saidBased on the exposure to 105 levels in her home her family now has a 50 percent risk of having lung cancer she saidTimelineUND first started testing in late December 2012One of the residents a former homeowner had past experience with radon and requested the test said Troy Noeldner associate director of housing The university ended up performing short-term and long-term testing on that apartment and the resident manager’s finding elevated levels in both UND installed ventilation systems in each but didn’t inform the rest of the Six Plex residents of its effortsJohnson said the Housing Office wanted to verify levels were elevated before notifying residents about it"We just wanted to make sure we had the best information first" he saidBut finding one elevated level in a building doesn’t mean the level is the same for all surrounding buildings according to the North Dakota Department of Health"There are other variables that contribute to high radon levels" said Justin Otto the department’s radon coordinator "Radon has to be localized so there has to be uranium in the soil underneath the home and there also has to be a negative pressure in the house so it can be drawn in So just because your neighbor’s house tests high it doesn’t mean yours will"In the following months UND tested two other apartments that came back elevated and by early October had sent out an email to all Six Plex residents about their efforts The university said it would conduct additional testing provided a link to the EPA website and that "prolonged exposure to radon has been linked to medical concerns" but nothing further said residentsHowever UND had a mix-up in mailing the initial test results which prompted re-testing and a roughly two-month delay that the university didn’t explain said residentsLast week UND sent all residents their test resultsLack of infoSeveral residents said they were upset they weren’t informed earlier of the elevated radon levelsThey just wanted to make an informed choice about housing and many would have decided to live elsewhere they said Terry O’Clair director of the division of air quality at the North Dakota Department of Health said the university was under no obligation to inform residents"There’s no obligation to report it even to us" he said "We can try to help them through the process by identifying what they can do to find it and once it’s found we would send something to show what can be done to fix the situation"Despite being a health concern there’s no specific regulation on it he saidLaurie Betting associate vice president of student affairs pledged to Six Plex residents Wednesday to provide better communication to all residents in the future Housing officials called a meeting for residents in part to start this process they said"One thing I want to own from our part and to make apology for is the communication" she said "I think it has been lacking as far as informing residents of the status the test results and our progress"Soliman one of a few residents who appeared at the meeting on Wednesday said she genuinely appreciated how UND agreed the situation should have been handled differently"UND seems to feel confident that they followed EPA guidelines properly but we should not let the EPA guidelines determine our moral compass" she said later "We must reduce our known risks when we know about them and change the way we live accordingly"Taking actionThe university started mitigation work on apartments reporting at a 37 level and higher aiming to finish the work by Jan 1 housing and safety officials saidEPA suggests building owners with exposure levels of at least 4 to start addressing the situation within one to three years said BettingUND has offered to relocate families waive lease fees and reduce the radon levels in apartments that families want to stay in officials said on Wednesday Each Six Plex apartment will be tested again twice in the next year and if the levels are sufficiently low the university will follow up with regular testsSuzy Belyea associate director of housing told residents on Wednesday the university stopped assigning Six Plex units and informed two families who previously planned on transferring about the radon problemEveryone should test their home for elevated radon levels not just UND because the effects of radon poisoning don’t appear until several years later said OttoNorth Dakotans are at particular risk because every county in the state has potentially high radon levels Otto said 63 percent of all homes in the state test at elevated levels but the homes are scattered all over so it’s not concentrated in one area"People of all ages can be affected by radon" he said "And the age of the home doesn’t matter It could have been built in the 1800s or it could have been built yesterday and you could still have radon problems The only way you know is if you test"What you can do: To order your own free radon test kit contact Otto at the North Dakota Department of Health at jotto@ndgov Lab results are free tooTimeline of radon discovery Dec 2012: Initial resident inquires about radon testing UND installs short-term test in that apartment and the resident manager’s apartment? the soon-to-be 32-year-old is playing the best tennis of her life.000 with 11. It is not clear how we convince them to join,” She continued.

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