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Canada’s Largest-Ever Home Radon Testing Results Released

The BC Lung Association on January 26, 2015, released the results of the largest ever community-wide home radon testing project done in Canada. Getting more British Columbians to test their homes for radon – the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – is a priority for the BC Lung Association. As is ensuring people know how to mitigate a radon problem, if one exists.

During winter 2014, radon test kits were distributed to more than 2000 homes in Prince George and 230 homes in Castlegar and surrounding areas – two areas of the province known to have elevated levels of indoor radon.

Measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), Health Canada recommends home radon levels not exceed a safety threshold of 200 (Bq/m3).On average, one in three Prince George homes and one in two Castlegar homes tested above Health Canada’s suggested safety threshold.

"HomeView: Purging Homes of a Silent Killer", Ontario Lung Association, July 17, 2014, Northumberland Review

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - July 17, 2014) - Exposure to colourless, odourless radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. That is why the Ontario Lung Association is urging MPPs from all parties to support Bill 11, The Radon Awareness and Prevention Act 2014, when it arrives in the legislature for second reading today.

Read the full article here: http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=29787

Health Canada Firm on Radon Testing

Health Canada won't budge from its position that more testing should be done on a cancer-causing gas seeping into homes at Tobique First Nation, arguing that people's health won't be jeopardized by waiting several more months for repairs.

Len O'Neill, a regional manager of environmental public health, says the results from preliminary testing on about 350 homes in the community in northwest New Brunswick are too inconclusive.

"We take the health and safety of all the residents in the community seriously, as well as their concerns. However, the research shows the health risk is long-term, over decades, to the elevated levels of radon."

Tender Issued to Remove Radon at Canadian School

Tender Issued to Remove Radon at Canadian School

The South Shore Regional School Board is ordering renovations to an elementary school to remove pervasive levels of radon gas.

The radon was first detected at Hebbville Academy, just outside Bridgewater, after the province ordered testing in March 2010 of all public buildings for radon.

Follow-up tests were done this past winter, and results indicated levels of radon were above the guidelines for school hours.

The tender to fix the radon problem was issued Wednesday.

The elevated levels are not considered an immediate health risk, but dealing with radon is now part of managing public buildings across Nova Scotia.

For Crystal Publicover, the presence of radon gas at her son's school was a surprise, though the school board did make the findings public knowledge.

"I wasn't aware of it. I'm glad the school has stood up and is fixing it. I'm glad because it could cause health problems," said Publicover.

Reducing Radon Exposure a Personal Quest

Reducing Radon Exposure a Personal Quest

In 10 years, Dana Schmidt hopes to eliminate Castlegar’s radon problem through education and prevention.

When Schmidt’s wife, Donna, passed away of lung cancer two years ago, he took it upon himself to research different causes of the disease.

He found Castlegar had the highest rate of radon gas in the province (the first is Clearwater) and it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

He started the Donna Schmidt Memorial Radon Abatement Fund to inform people about the risk of radon and the effect of lung cancer and to help people detect radon in their homes.

Radon is a colourless, odorless and tasteless gas found in the granite and rock around Castlegar. It occurs naturally as the decay product of uranium and flows through gravel into the air.

Through testing, Schmidt says 46 per cent of Castlegar’s homes are above Canadian standards and 57 per cent are above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Renovations May be Putting Children at Risk

Canada's $44 billion renovation industry has been the fastest growing part of the housing sector for the last 10 years, but it is risking the health of those living in the houses under construction -- particularly children -- says a report by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA).

Renovation activities including energy retrofits, if not done carefully, can greatly increase indoor contaminant exposures, says the report. Renovations may disturb toxic contaminants such as lead, asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that are legacies of past product uses and practices. Air sealing or tightening a building can reduce the frequency of air exchange and potentially lead to higher radon levels in indoor air, as well as moisture and mould problems.

Manitoba, Canada a Hotbed for Radon

Manitoba, Canada a Hotbed for Radon

OTTAWA -- More homes in Manitoba tested positive for high levels of cancer-causing radon than anywhere else in the country, Health Canada reported this week.

Health Canada is spending two years testing radon levels in 18,000 Canadian homes. The first 9,000 homes, tested last fall and winter, found seven per cent of homes had radon levels over the national guideline of 200 becquerels per metre cubed.

In Manitoba, nearly one in four homes exceeded that level, with 22.1 per cent having levels between 200 and 600, and 1.4 per cent surpassing 600.

A becquerel is a standard unit for measuring radiation intensity.

Health Canada refused to release the number of homes tested in Manitoba.

Health Canada Survey Finds Elevated Radon Levels in Seven Percent of Homes

OTTAWA - Preliminary results from a Health Canada survey suggest that seven per cent of Canadian homes contain elevated concentrations of radioactive radon gas.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said people should test the air in their homes for radon.

"You can't see it, smell it, or taste it," she said Tuesday. "The only way to know if you have a radon problem is to test your home."

The findings from the first year of a two-year project found that New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Yukon had the highest percentages of homes with radon levels above the national guideline.

The national limit is 200 becquerels per cubic metre of air. In New Brunswick, 11.7 per cent of homes had levels between 200 and 600 becquerels and 5.3 per cent had levels above 600 becquerels. In Saskatchewan 14.2 per cent were in the first elevated level, with 1.6 per cent above 600.

Check Homes for Radon Gas, Urge Canadian Health Groups

OTTAWA — Canadians should have their homes checked for radon, a colourless and odourless gas that can have potentially deadly effects over time, health organizations warn.

The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Lung Association and Health Canada have joined forces to raise awareness about exposure to radon.

Formed by the breakdown of uranium, the naturally occurring radioactive gas is present in all soil. In the open air, radon gas is diluted to low levels and does not pose a health risk. But radon can enter a home through dirt floors, cracks in concrete, joints and basement drains; in enclosed spaces such as basements, the gas can reach levels harmful to health.

"Many Canadians are not aware of the risks from residential radon gas and what they can do to stay healthy," CMA president Dr. Jeff Turnbull said in a release Tuesday. "With winter approaching, physicians want to make sure their patients are aware of this potential health hazard."

The Canadian Lung Association: Is Radon a Hidden Danger in Your Home?

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2010) -

Radon gas exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – yet awareness of this risk remains low among Canadians. To increase radon awareness, the Canadian Lung Association is launching a new social media campaign and urging Canadians to test their homes this fall.

"The Government of Canada supports the Canadian Lung Association's efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of radon," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "We have a shared commitment to providing Canadians with important information about the health risks of radon and encouraging them to test their homes for radon."

Radon gas is a hidden danger because it is odorless, tasteless and invisible. Radon is formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. The gas can seep into your home undetected through cracks in the walls or foundation.

Radon and Lung Cancer