Liz Anderson

Council encourages home owners to test for radon

Kits are inexpensive, easy-to-use, and available at the Trail Health and Environment Community office at 1319 Bay Avenue.

Ever heard of radon gas? A becquerel? Or why it’s so important anyone living in Greater Trail to know what those words mean?

November is Radon Aware Month in Trail, aimed to up the profile on radon gas – the leading cause of lung cancer in B.C, after smoking.

The City of Trail is located in an area of the province known to be a higher risk for radon gas in homes. According to Health Canada, above 200 Bq/m3 (becquerel per cubic metre), the homeowner should take action to reduce their level. And in Trail, there are documented levels of indoor radon above the 200 Bq/m3 guideline.

Because radon gas is colourless, odourless and tasteless, the only way to know if an indoor level is high, is to test for it.  With those facts in mind, Trail council proclaimed Radon Aware Month, to get word out that the naturally occurring gas can be detected in homes with a simple radon test kit.

“The City of Trail supported the proclamation request from the Lung Association to enhance the awareness in the community to the dangers of radon as a significant cause of cancer,” says Trail Mayor Mike Martin.

“This seemed to be a great opportunity for some increased attention and to publicize the ease with which homeowners can check their own homes.”

Kits are inexpensive, easy-to-use, and available at the Trail Health and Environment Community office at 1319  Bay Avenue.

Testing services (includes analysis) are available with a $15 donation, or free, courtesy of the Donna Schmidt Lung Cancer Prevention Society.

Donna Schmidt was an active Castlegar resident before being diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2008. After she succumbed to the disease four months later, the family facilitated the radon gas testing program.

The society’s goal is to have all homes in the region tested for radon and to provide assistance to homeowners to reduce radon gas levels and thereby reduce the risk for lung cancer.

“Although I was aware of the possible presence of radon in our area, I have not heard of any detection above Health Canada guidelines and as such, previously did not pay much attention to the matter,” Martin explained. “However, this increased publicity along with the ease with which a test can be done, it makes good sense to do a check.”

The small sampling device is placed inside the home for about three months, and because windows are usually closed during the colder months, fall and winter are the ideal time to test.

If a home’s radon level is above 200 Bq/m3, remediation can include sealing cracks in the foundation and openings around pipes and drains; increasing mechanical ventilation; or active sub-slab depressurization which involves installing a pipe inside the home and venting it through the attic.

Radon mitigation is very successful and can reduce levels on average, by as much as 90 per cent, says Britt Swoveland, provincial manager of the Radon Aware campaign.

“I would like to congratulate the City of Trail for joining with many other communities across B.C. to proclaim November as Radon Aware Month,” Swoveland said, “We want the residents of Trail to known that radon testing is simple, and low cost.”

Radon is an indirect decay product of uranium, and radon gas comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.

A becquerel is a standard unit of measure for radioactivity and used to document levels of radon gas in homes.

Just Posted

Mounties warn about open liquor at Rossland Carnival

They’ll be out there watching for illegal drinking

The Trail Smoke Eaters win in a shootout over Wenatchee Wild

The Trail Smoke Eaters split its two-game series against the Wenatchee Wild on weekend

River rising in Trail

For up-to-date reservoir elevation and river flow information, visit BC Hydro’s website

Former ski champ and MLA’s son hope to open Castlegar cannabis store next month

Felix Belczyk and Ben Conroy are in the approval process for local Spiritleaf outlet

Victorian-era magnate, con artist had Rossland connections

New book explores fascinating history of Whitaker Wright

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

New military armoury opens in Cranbrook

Military presence in the Key City a part of the 44th Engineer Squadron

Most Read