More radon testing needed

More people in and around Williams Lake should have their homes tested for radon gas, said the BC Lung Association.

More people in and around Williams Lake should have their homes tested for radon gas, said Dr. Menn Biagtan, program manager with the BC Lung Association.

“That’s the reason we’re increasing our efforts to create awareness among the public, especially in Northern B.C. and in the Interior which are found to be radon-rich areas,” Biagtan told the Tribune/Advisor.

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced from the natural breakdown of uranium rocks and soil. It can enter a home through any openings in the floors and foundations and build up to dangerous levels.

“The more homes we can encourage to test the better because then we will have a better picture of how many homes and families are exposed to high levels of radon in each of the areas,” Biagtan said.

Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and has been found in high concentrations in Northern B.C., the Canadian Cancer Society said in a press release issued this week to mark Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Health Canada estimates that 16 per cent of lung cancer deaths in Canada are caused by radon and that an estimated 500,000 Canadians are living in homes that exceed the federal guidelines of 200 Bq/m3 for radon exposure.

The risk of developing lung cancer depends on how much radon a person is exposed to, how long they are exposed as well as whether or not they smoke.

“Radon occurs as a result of the natural decay of uranium in rocks and soil and Northern B.C. is known for having high concentrations in the basements of some homes,” said Dr. Ronald Chapman, A/Chief Medical Health Officer, Northern Health. “The only way to know if your home has high radon levels is to test it.”

And the test is simple, Biagtan said.

The test takes a minimum of 90 days with a kit placed in the home and then if levels are detected, it’s an easy fix.

“That’s the good news,” Biagtan said.

Northern Health Authority is selling the kits for $30 and that includes analysis.

The kit is sent to a lab and the lab sends it back with the results.

Once they find the results, and if the levels exceed accepted standards, then mitigation will need to be done to a house.

“There are effective ways to do mitigation in each of the homes,” she added.

It’s all about peace of mind, Biagtan said.

“People need to know whether or not they are being exposed to radon. And if they are they can do something about it.”

Biagtan said during the last five years while efforts have been made to create more awareness about radon gas and its link to lung cancer, hardware stores have been selling radon detection kits as well.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake city council is interested in acquiring the former Poplar Glade School property on Eleventh Avenue. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake city council sets sights on two former school properties

School District said there is a five-step process for property disposal

School District 27 (SD27) issued notice Thursday, Feb. 25 of a COVID-19 exposure at Mountview Elementary School. (Angie Mindus photo)
School district reports positive COVID-19 case in Williams Lake elementary school

A letter went home to families of Mountview Elementary School

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City of Williams Lake seeks feedback on hosting junior hockey league team

A league expansion application in Quesnel is also pending

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

LADDER USED IN FIRE FIGHT: While smoke billows out of the second floor of the Maple Leaf Hotel, members of the Williams Lake Volunteer Fire Department fight to contain the blaze. The department was called out Tuesday morning to battle the blaze that wreaked havoc on the interior of the 57-year-old hotel. One man, Harold Hurst of Riske Creek, died in the fire. (Ernest Engemoen photo - Williams Lake Tribune, April 12, 1977)
FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Ladder used in fire fight

The department was called out Tuesday morning to battle the blaze

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read