Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is a naturally occurring gas found in the ground throughout the world. Most buildings will contain some amount of radon gas but the only way to know if levels are high is to conduct a radon test..
According to the Radon Potential Map for British Columbia, the relative radon hazard for most of the Central Okanagan area is considered Zone 1-High.
Health Canada recommends efforts should be taken to get radon to as far below the Canadian Guideline of 200 Bq/m3. To determine radon levels, buildings should be tested. Most buildings can reduce the radon to levels well below the guideline at reasonable costs.
Take Action on Radon is a national initiative, funded by Health Canada, to bring together radon stakeholders and raise awareness on radon across Canada. In January 2020, the Central Okanagan applied to the 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge and was awarded 400 free radon kits for distribution this Fall.
The Healthy Indoor Environments program (HIE) at the British Columbia Lung Association works to advance education, awareness and law and policy reform to address radon. As part of its Community Testing Project, HIE is collaborating with Take Action on Radon on this project. HIE contributed 1000 additional test kits as part of ensuring residents of the Central Okanagan can know radon prevalence in their communities. Funding for this project has been made possible by the Vancouver Foundation.
The Air Quality program of the Central Okanagan with the support of Interior Health, Take Action on Radon, the British Columbia Lung Assoication, the Vancouver Foundation and all local municipalities will provide 1400 FREE radon test kits and a radon awareness webinar to interested residents within the Central Okanagan.
- Residents living within the Central Okanagan region including; City of Kelowna, Regional District of Central Okanagan (East and West), City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Westbank First Nation.
HOW MANY TESTS KITS ARE AVAILABLE? - Sorry, registration is now closed
- 400 initial and 1000 additional free radon test kits are available. Registered participants will receive email reminders confirming their free detector, the collection/pick up point and instructions to pick up their kit November 2-13. Any additional registrations will go to a waiting list.
- Limited to ONE free radon test kit per property.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
REGISTER FOR FREE TEST KIT - sorry, registration is now closed
Due to overwhelming response, all 400 initial Free kits were assigned to those who registered in September. An additional 1000 free kits were provided (one per property) thanks to the support of the BC Lung Association for those who pre-registered by October 26.
The free Radon Awareness webinar on Wednesday, October 28 outlines radon risks, how to take action on radon, resources and tools available, and provided answered questions from registered participants.
* Your free radon test kit must be picked up at the designated local government office location you pre-registered for
** If you miss the pickup dates - The radon test kit will be immediately reassigned to other residents on the waiting list.
*** If you miss the drop off dates - Your radon test kit can still be analysed, but you will be responsible for the cost of mailing it to the lab for analysis (SRC, 143-111 Research Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 3R2)
What To Do With The Test Results
Health Canada and health experts recommend action should be taken to reduce radon exposure:
The only way to know the level of radon is to test for radon in indoor places.
To learn more about Radon check the FAQs.
WHERE CAN I BUY A RADON TEST?
- Sorry, registration to purchase a radon test kit is now closed – Deadline to register October 26, 2020
- Only 100 Radon test kits were available for sale for those who pre-registered. Maximum 2 radon test kits can be purchased per property. One detector should be placed for every 200 square metres of floor space.
- Pick up and payment $20 each (cash-cheque only for those who pre-registered) during the week of November 2 to 6 exclusively at the RDCO office (1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4)
- Reduced price per radon test kit - $20 each (cash-cheque payable to Regional District of Central Okanagan)
Radon detectors plus the cost of shipping to the lab normally cost approximately $60, so this is an excellent opportunity for Central Okanagan residents to test their homes at a reduced cost. Radon Kits are also available for purchase through the BC Lung Association Radon Aware. Long term kits are recommended.