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 Silver Harbour, Mb  
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2017 items have now been archived.  The information is available at Documents/Previous Years’ Current Topics/2017.

  • 2020
    • Opportunity to Participate in Radon Testing

      Supported by Health Canada, Take Action on Radon has teamed up with the community of Silver Harbour, and other communities across Canada, to participate in a radon test kit challenge.

      About Radon
      Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the ground and is found in every home, though not always at elevated levels. Since Canadian homes are sealed against the weather, radon levels inside our homes can build up to levels that Health Canada considers to be dangerous.

      What’s the danger?
      Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon can cause lung cancer.  Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, causing over 3,200 Canadian deaths each year. As a radioactive gas, when we breathe radon in, we are exposing our lung tissue to ionizing radiation. This radiation causes damage to the DNA in our lung tissue and increases the risk of developing lung cancer.

      How much radon is too much?
      The Government of Canada recommends that any home with a radon level above 200 Bq/m3 should take action to lower their level.  Most homes can be reduced to levels well below this guideline level.

      How do you find out your radon level?
      Simple: test your home with a radon detector.  It doesn’t matter where you’re located or what the levels were in your neighbours’ homes if they’ve tested.  It doesn’t matter whether your home is old or new, small or large.  While it’s true that some communities have higher average radon levels, each house is different and elevated radon levels can be found anywhere.

      What is in a radon detector/test kit?
      Long-term radon detectors are typically electret ion or alpha track devices. The 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge uses alpha track detectors.
      Alpha track detectors contain a small piece of plastic which gets ‘etched’ or marked by the energy that is released from the radon decay process.  This mark on the plastic is from the same impact that can damage your lung tissue, however on the plastic inside the detector it leaves a mark that can be counted by the lab.
      Radon test kits are non-toxic and safe to use in homes with pets and children present.  They should be left in place for the duration of the 91 days, but if a child picks it up and shakes it or a pet moves the detector, there should be nothing falling out of the detector and one-time or limited movement should not affect the result of the radon level.  Typical long-term devices are alpha track detectors and e-perm detector, these devices do not accumulate radiation.

      How does radon get into our homes?
      Radon comes from the mineral uranium that occurs naturally in the soil.  As the uranium breaks down, it eventually releases radon.  Radon is a gas, so it travels easily through the soil, working its way toward the surface.  When radon escapes into outdoor air, the concentrations are low (approximately 15 Bq/m3).  However, radon also escapes into our homes wherever they are in contact with the soil, finding its way in through cracks or around pipes and drains.  Here in Canada, our homes are well sealed to keep us warm in the winter, and so the radon concentration in our homes can easily build up to high levels.

      How can I participate in the challenge?
      If you are interested in helping Take Action on Radon and the community of Silver Harbour test for radon, sign up at https://form.jotform.com/202665073195255.  Free radon test kits will be supplied to the first 100 residents to test their homes.  For those who sign up, you will receive an invitation via email to attend an online information session which will be held on November 6th at 6:00 PM.  The free test kits will be distributed by Wayne Howlett (23 Thorvaldson Drive) and Ken MacLeod (14 Thorvaldson Drive) from November 15th through to November28th 2020.  Collection of the kits will take place between March 8th through to March 12th 2021.

      Thank you.  Wayne Howlett