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Radon Testing is required for State licensed, regulated, owned or operated Facilities. This requirement is the same for all buildings in facilities required to be tested for radon per Florida Statue 404.056. Currently all buildings in a facility that are used by the clients of the facility are required to be tested twice, five years apart. Once tested twice, testing is no longer required unless one of the triggering events occurs:
1) a building is subject to significant structural renovation or a change in facility operation equivalent to a building structural change, or
2) the facility legally becomes a new facility. Examples of a legally new facility would be the issuance of a new license, or there could be a change in ownership or operator. If a facility operator failed to complete the required testing in any building by the time it was due, the testing should be completed as soon as is practical.
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The procedures for mandatory testing can be found in 404.056, Florida Statute and in 64E-5 Parts X and XII (46 KB PDF) of the Florida Administrative Code. Special information for private schools completing the Department of Education Sworn Compliance Form is provided.
The steps in mandatory radon testing:
- Find out if you need to test.
- Check for the facility's testing history.
- Review the testing procedures.
- Hire a certified measurement business or facility employees can test by strictly adhering to the testing procedures.
- Complete and forward the appropriate report form (DH1777 or DH1778).
- NOTE: Facilities required to test for radon by Florida Statute 404.056 are required to follow the protocols and procedures outlined in Department of Health publication DH\PI 150-334.
Radon and Foster Homes
Florida Statute (FS) Chapter 404.056(4) and the Florida Administrative Code (FAC) Chapter 64E-5.1208(1)(b) requires testing and reporting for radon and its decay products, for certain facilities, including foster care homes. Additionally:
- Radon testing requirements are county-specific based on the type of building containing the foster home and whether the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has a radon resistant construction recommendation for that class of building in that county.
- FAC Chapter 64E-12 for community based residential facilities does not apply to family foster homes.
- There is language in chapter 64E-12.012 that refers to FS Chapter 404, and provides information directing facilities to contact the Radon and Indoor Air section for testing requirements and forms. There are no radon mitigation requirements in the rule.
- Through an interagency agreement between the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families, DOH conducts physical plant inspections at family foster homes using DCF's rule Chapter 65C-13, FAC.
- Chapter 65C-13, of the FAC, mandate radon testing for foster homes and retesting every five years.
- DCF Chapter 65C-13.030, FAC ("Radon levels shall be at a level which does not affect the safety and well-being of children in the homes") requires family foster homes to mitigate radon levels over the established level.
A local foster care licensing group in Polk County has decided to deny licensing to foster care applicants with elevated radon levels.
The mandatory radon testing requirements were established to provide the guardians and decision makers of the clients of these facilities with information on radon, so that they can make informed choices on how best to protect the health and well being of their clients. Any requirement on licensing or mitigation of these facilities rests upon the statutory authority of the regulatory agency.
Using Radon Proficient Devices for your Mandatory Testing
Facilities required to test for radon can perform their own testing with their own personnel using proficient devices. The testing can be done with test kits found in hardware stores, department stores, and grocery stores or with kits ordered through the mail. The only requirement on the kits is that they have passed one of the two current proficiency programs: the National Radon Proficiency Program or the National Radon Safety Board. Participation in these programs is voluntary for the radon device manufacturers, but it is the only recognized independent check for a laboratory's accuracy.
If a facility tests itself, it is responsible for following the procedures in Florida Administrative Code 64E-5 Parts X and XII, filling out the appropriate report form and mailing it to this office. You can contact the radon program office with any questions. We will be happy to advise you on the testing procedures.