Wednesday, July 24, 2024
July 24, 2024

Radon awareness and testing event scheduled for Nov. 18

“Prevention starts at home” is the message surrounding a radon gas awareness effort spearheaded by federal and provincial health agencies — in partnership locally with the Islands Trust. 

“After learning about this program, I thought it was a great opportunity to help families test their homes for radon,” said Rob Pingle, who is coordinating the program for the community on behalf of the Islands Trust. “We are all spending more time at home, so it’s an important step for families to take to reduce their radon levels.” 

According to the BC Lung Foundation, radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and can be found in elevated concentrations in homes across the country. While Canada has had a National Radon Plan for over a decade, many Canadians remain unaware of the deadly gas, according to Lynn Murad, a cancer prevention specialist with the Canadian Cancer Society. 

“On average, 58 Canadians will die from lung cancer every day, making it the leading cause of cancer death in Canada,” said Murad. “It’s important that Canadians know they can control their risk from radon by testing their homes and reducing their exposure.” 

To that end, islanders are invited to participate in the “100 Radon Test Kit Challenge,” kicking off at a free information session Friday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the new multi-space at SIMS. The session will explain the health effects of radon, why it’s a concern in our area, and the latest Health Canada recommendations. Free radon detection kits will be distributed at the event, and can also be picked up from the Islands Trust building on Lower Ganges Road from Nov. 21-25.  

“Testing for radon is simple to do,” said Pam Warkentin, executive director of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, “and there are effective solutions available to reduce radon levels in homes where radon levels are elevated.” 

Warkentin said the first step is to know your home’s radon level. 

“Every home needs to test for radon,” she said. “It’s that simple.”  

Funding for this project is provided by Health Canada and the Vancouver Foundation. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the program via the website.

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