Here in the Columbia Valley, we have a strong connection to the landscape, but did you know that relationship carries on when we’re indoors too?
A significant percentage of homes here in the valley are thought to have radon levels above Heath Canada’s guideline, yet few homes in our area have been tested. Unfortunately, most people do not find out that they’ve been exposed to high levels of radon gas until it is too late. Wildsight Invermere’s Radon Action and Awareness Program is working to change this.
Radon is a radioactive gas produced by the natural decay of uranium in rocks and soil and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. This odorless, invisible gas enters our homes through tiny cracks in floors and walls where it accumulates. Recognizing the very low survival rate of just 17% for lung cancer, and the subsequent large social impact on our community, Wildsight Invermere distributed 100 free, long-term radon test kits to homes in the Columbia Valley over the winter of 2017-2018 to help valley residents better assess their radon exposure.
Results from the program show that 32% of homes tested have radon levels in excess of Health Canada guidelines (200 Bq/m3), 48% exceed US EPA guidelines (148 Bq/m3), and 63% have radon levels above the World Health Organization recommendation for mitigation (100 Bq/m3). The highest residential radon level captured through our program testing was in excess of 1258 Bq/m3! Have you tested your home yet?
Long-term radon test kits are available at valley hardware stores for $30 to $50 and include lab analysis of the completed tests. For mitigation strategies, connect with Nate Sereda of Energy Advise, the Valley’s only certified radon mitigation specialist for help managing radon levels in your home.
Check out the BC Lung Association’s Radon Aware Program for more information.
The Radon Action & Awareness project is made possible with funding from Columbia Basin Trust and is supported by RDEK and DOI.