have now been archived. The
is available at Documents/Previous
Years’ Current Topics/2017.
- Opportunity to Participate in Radon Testing
Supported by Health Canada, Take Action on Radon has teamed up with the community of Silver Harbour, and other communities across Canada, to participate in a radon test kit challenge.
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the ground and is found in
every home, though not always at elevated levels. Since Canadian homes
are sealed against the weather, radon levels inside our homes can build
up to levels that Health Canada considers to be dangerous.
What’s the danger?
Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon can cause lung
cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers,
causing over 3,200 Canadian deaths each year. As a radioactive gas,
when we breathe radon in, we are exposing our lung tissue to ionizing
radiation. This radiation causes damage to the DNA in our lung tissue
and increases the risk of developing lung cancer.
How much radon is too much?
The Government of Canada recommends that any home with a radon level
above 200 Bq/m3 should take action to lower their level. Most
homes can be reduced to levels well below this guideline level.
How do you find out your radon level?
Simple: test your home
with a radon detector. It doesn’t matter where you’re located or
what the levels were in your neighbours’ homes if they’ve tested.
It doesn’t matter whether your home is old or new, small or
large. While it’s true that some communities have higher average
radon levels, each house is different and elevated radon levels can be
What is in a radon detector/test kit?
Long-term radon detectors are typically electret ion or alpha track devices. The 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge uses alpha track detectors.
track detectors contain a small piece of plastic which gets ‘etched’ or
marked by the energy that is released from the radon decay
process. This mark on the plastic is from the same impact that
can damage your lung tissue, however on the plastic inside the detector
it leaves a mark that can be counted by the lab.
test kits are non-toxic and safe to use in homes with pets and children
present. They should be left in place for the duration of the 91
days, but if a child picks it up and shakes it or a pet moves the
detector, there should be nothing falling out of the detector and
one-time or limited movement should not affect the result of the radon
level. Typical long-term devices are alpha track detectors and
e-perm detector, these devices do not accumulate radiation.
How does radon get into our homes?
Radon comes from the mineral uranium that occurs naturally in the
soil. As the uranium breaks down, it eventually releases
radon. Radon is a gas, so it travels easily through the soil,
working its way toward the surface. When radon escapes into
outdoor air, the concentrations are low (approximately 15 Bq/m3).
However, radon also escapes into our homes wherever they are in contact
with the soil, finding its way in through cracks or around pipes and
drains. Here in Canada, our homes are well sealed to keep us warm
in the winter, and so the radon concentration in our homes can easily
build up to high levels.
How can I participate in the challenge?
If you are interested in helping Take Action on Radon and the community of Silver Harbour test for radon, sign up at https://form.jotform.com/202665073195255.
Free radon test kits will be supplied to the first 100 residents to
test their homes. For those who sign up, you will receive an
invitation via email to attend an online information session which will
be held on November 6th at 6:00 PM. The free test kits will be
distributed by Wayne Howlett (23 Thorvaldson Drive) and Ken MacLeod (14
Thorvaldson Drive) from November 15th through to November28th
2020. Collection of the kits will take place between March 8th
through to March 12th 2021.
Thank you. Wayne Howlett