BC Community Radon Testing Projects

Read about the Statistical Analysis of Radon Concentration, Home Characteristics, and Homeowner Intent Report here. Summary: 

In 2014, the BC Lung Association (BCLA) completed the largest single-community radon testing effort performed in Canada to date in the community of Prince George, British Columbia (BC). Not only were home radon concentrations tested, but homeowners were guided through a building survey. The survey was designed with months of communication between stakeholders from the private and public sectors across BC, and internationally. The main purpose of the survey was to determine any association between high or low indoor radon concentrations and building characteristics such as age of construction, heating type, number of storeys, etc.

This report provides the main findings from the statistical analysis of 486 indoor radon test results where homeowners also completed the building survey. All participants were within the Canada Post Forward Service Area (FSA) of V2M in the City of Prince George . All results are reported utilizing the Health Canada guidance level of 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3).

Read about the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George Case Study here. Summary: 

The Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George (AHSPG ), formerly the Prince George Metis Housing Society, is a not-for-profit housing provider with a goal to provide safe, healthy, and affordable housing for Aboriginal people of all incomes, ages, and capabilities. As part of the larger Prince George community radon testing study, the AHSPG volunteered to test 136 of their individual housing units for radon. Testing took place for 3 months over the winter of 2013/2014, beginning in mid-December. This case study provides the test results from the original testing project, as well as the mitigation process for those units that tested above the Health Canada guideline.

Read about the Shared Services BC Project here. Summary:

A Radon Testing Project being conducted by Shared Services BC (SSBC) and in partnership with the BC Lung Association and the BC Public Service Agency and will be completed this year. The SSBC Radon Testing Project will begin in a sample of government owned and managed residential and commercial buildings to test for radon and to determine any requirement for mitigation. All buildings that test above the Health Canada radon safety guideline will be mitigated by certified professionals.

Find the Prince George Project Results Report here. Highlights:

Radon test kits were distributed to 2000 homes across 4 Prince George postal code service areas. 71.5 percent (1436) of tests were returned for analysis after the required 3 month testing period. Overall, 29 percent of homes tested had results that exceeded Health Canada’s radon exposure guideline for mitigation.

Find the Castlegar Project Results Report here. Summary:

Radon test kits were distributed to 230 homes in Castlegar and surrounding areas. 68.7 percent (158) of tests were returned for analysis after the required 3 month testing period.Overall, 59 percent of homes tested had results that exceeded Health Canada’s radon exposure guideline. Read the news release here

Find the Radon in New Homes Report here. Highlights:

This report provides the background information to better understand how the Ministry of Health, the Building and Safety Standards Branch, and the British Columbia Lung Association worked together with the outcome being the new 2014 radon measures in the BC Building Code.
  • Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that is found in soil, rocks and water.
  • Radon has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer in canada. Health canada estimates as many as 16 percent of lung cancer deaths can be attributed to radon exposure. Most of the lung cancer risk posed by radon happens in homes.

     

  • In January 2014, the BC Lung Association launched Canada’s largest single community-wide radon testing project in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. During the same time-frame, community-wide testing was also completed in Castlegar, British Columbia.

     

     

  • The projects serve to inform residents of the public health risk of radon and answer the radon level question for homeowners and tenants in two communities in two distinct and separate regions of British Columbia.

  • The projects offered free radon test kits to 2,000 Prince George homeowners and tenants and 230 Castlegar homeowners and tenants to test indoor radon levels in their homes.

     

  • The reports provide the radon test results for the communities of Prince George and Castlegar as a whole and for Prince George by 4 unique postal code areas (PCA). Results are provided to indicate percent of homes that tested above the health canada safety threshold of 200 bq/m3. Above this level Health Canada recommends that residents take action to reduce the radon levels in their home. Main conclusions drawn from the radon testing project are provided at the end of each report. Please note: no confidential information is included in either of the reports.