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Valemount set to take action on radon

Take Action on Radon, a coalition of national health organizations, is working with the Village of Valemount to distribute 100 free radon test kits this November as part of a broader initiative to raise awareness about the health risks associated with radon and to collect data on radon levels in the municipality.

“Many Canadians still don’t know that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and that simply reducing radon exposure can save lives,” said Pam Warkentin, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST), and Project Manager for Take Action on Radon, in a news release. “We commend the Village of Valemount for its leadership in bringing attention to this cancer-causing gas and helping its residents test their home for it by participating in the 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge.”

Radon is a radioactive gas that is released by the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is odourless, tasteless, and colourless, and can enter buildings and enclosed spaces undetected. Since Canadian homes are sealed against the weather, radon can become trapped indoors, building up to dangerous levels. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon damages the DNA in our lung tissue and is currently leading to over 3,000 Canadian deaths each year – more than the combined toll of car collisions, house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and drowning combined. 

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in our country, and on average 58 Canadians die from the disease every day,” said Jenny Byford, Advocacy Lead, Canadian Cancer Society. “The reality is many of these deaths could be prevented by limiting exposure to radon.  That is why we are calling on families to take action and test their homes for radon.”

Canadians need to be more proactive when it comes to protecting themselves and their loved ones from radon exposure.  A recent study commissioned by Health Canada found that eight per cent of British Columbians have tested their home for radon. To increase that number, the Government of Canada is committed to reducing the number of radon-induced cancer deaths in this country by working with their partners, stakeholders and community leaders to promote awareness and to encourage Canadians to take action against radon by having their homes tested. 

“There are many misconceptions, but we’re planning on changing that with our test kit events this November,” said Carleena Shepherd, Deputy Corporate Officer, Village of Valemount. “People need to start talking about it. Testing your home for radon is simple, and there are proven and effective methods to reduce radon in your home that can save lives.”

Test kits will be distributed at the Village of Valemount Council Chambers on November 18-20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information or to register, residents can contact the office at (250) 566-4435.

About the 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge

The 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge targets 15 municipalities a year across Canada where radon testing has thus far been limited, but where there is a potential for homes to have elevated radon levels. With the support of Health Canada, the Take Action on Radon program will provide 100 radon test kits to each participating municipality, to be distributed to residents for free or for a nominal fee (to be decided by the Community Liaison). The data collected from the program will provide important information about radon levels in participating communities.

About Take Action on Radon

Take Action on Radon is a national initiative that works to bring together radon stakeholders and raise radon awareness across Canada.  The initiative is led by the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST), CAREX Canada, and the Canadian Cancer Society.  

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