Radon Awareness Time
Radon is a colourless, odourless gas created as uranium decays. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and recent testing in Prince George indicated one in every three homes tested had levels of radon that were above Health Canada’s safety threshold limit.
Radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), Health Canada recommends home radon levels not exceed a safety threshold of 200 (Bq/m3).
The fall is the best time to install a radon test kit as it is the time of year when windows and doors are closed “Basically the recommendation from Health Canada is that a home be tested for a minimum of three months” says Dr. Raina Fumerton , Northern Medical Health Officer with Northern Health. She says preferably, the test should be done for a full year.
“You should set the test in the lowest lived level of the house where you spend at least 4 hours of your time every day” says Dr. Fumerton. So if you don’t spend at least 4 hours a day in your basement, then place the test in the lowest level of the home where you would spend that kind of time daily.
If a test indicates a higher than acceptable level of radon, there are mitigation measures that can be taken. For the average home, the cost of the mitigation measures typically ranges from $500 to $2500.
Long term radon test kits are available through the Northern Health’s Health Protection offices at a cost of $25 each:
|Prince George||4th Floor, 1600 3rd Avenue||250-565-2150|
|Vanderhoof||3299 Hospital Road||250-567-6900|
|Quesnel||523 Front Street||250-983-6810|
|Fort St. John||10115-110th Avenue||250-263-6000|
|Dawson Creek||1001-110th Avenue||250-719-6500|
|Smithers||3793 Alfred Avenue||250-847-6400|
|Terrace||3412 Kalum Drive||250-631-4200|
|Burns Lake||741 Centre Street||250-692-2400|
|Prince Rupert||300 Third Avenue West||250-622-6380|
Dr. Fumerton says the investment in the test kit “Is well worth the money, to make an informed decision.”
Radon exposure is thought to be responsible for 10% of all lung cancers in Northern B.C. . Across Canada, Radon exposure is believed to be responsible for 2,000 deaths each year.