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April 30, 2017 3:33 pm

Radon Awareness Time

Sunday, November 13, 2016 @ 6:58 AM

radontest-630x353Prince George, B.C.-It is the time of the year to consider  installing a radon  testing kit in your home.

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.

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