Radon: a silent killer

The BC Lung Association is one of the province’s leading non-profit organizations providing research, education and program support.

  • Mar. 23, 2016 6:00 p.m.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

The BC Lung Association is one of the province’s leading non-profit organizations providing research, education and program support to British Columbians on lung health issues.

BCLA continues to encourage everyone to test their homes for a serious public health risk known as radon gas – the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

According the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada, radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the ground and can enter your home undetected.

You can’t smell it, see it or taste it.

Some regions of British Columbia are at higher risk for elevated radon levels. BC’S Office of Housing and Construction Standards, the ministry responsible for the BC Building Code, separates British Columbia into Area 1 (high radon risk potential) and Area 2 (low radon risk potential).

This means that homes, schools and workplaces in Fort St. James could potentially have radon levels that are higher than Health Canada Safety Guidelines.

Effective December 2014, the British Columbia Office of Housing and Constructive Standards, Building and Safety Standards Branch, developed changes to the 2012 BC   Building Code’s (BCBC) measures for controlling soil gases.

All new homes constructed in Area 1 (high radon potential) of the province must have a roughed-in radon vent pipe.

A typical and effective mitigation solution is to install a fan along the roughed-in radon vent pipe which then creates a subfloor depressurization mitigation system.

Although this may provide some protection, it may not be the complete solution. It is still recommended that the home be tested to ensure safety.

According to the BC Lung Association and Health Canada, the only way to know your indoor radon level is to test.

This can be achieved by purchasing a radon test kit.

For more information on radon and to purchase a radon test kit visit: radonaware.ca