Mayor Henry Braun speaking at the launch of Take Action on Radon on Nov. 4. (Photo courtesy of Take Action on Radon.)

Mayor Henry Braun speaking at the launch of Take Action on Radon on Nov. 4. (Photo courtesy of Take Action on Radon.)

Abbotsford a “leading municipality” in Canada for radon reduction efforts, says national health coalition

Abbotsford one of 15 cities to particpate in national health campaign to raise awareness

Representatives from the national health campaign Take Action on Radon have called Abbotsford a “leading municipality” for its efforts to spread awareness of the cancer-causing gas.

“I am all for safety. We have a responsibility to the community and to our citizens,” said Mayor Henry Braun after the presentation of a report to city council on Nov. 4.

Radon – an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas created from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock – is present in every home but is carcinogenic when built up to high concentrations.

November is Radon Action Month and the City of Abbotsford is one of 15 communities across the country participating in the health campaign to get citizens to test their homes for high levels of the gas.

Abbotsford is also one of six municipalities in B.C. that opted to change their building code in 2018 to include protective measures. The changes require new buildings to install a ventilation pipe which pumps out stagnant air.

Installation of the radon-reduction system into an older home costs around $3,000, says Pam Warkentin, executive director of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists.

Take Action on Radon organized a meeting at a show home on Nov. 4 to demonstrate the installation of the pipe. The meeting was attended by over 30 stakeholder groups, ranging from construction professionals to public health researchers.

This ventilation pipe was installed inside an Abbotsford show-home on Monday. The demonstration was attended by a group of over 30 stakeholders, ranging from construction professionals to public health researchers.(Photo courtesy of Take Action on Radon.)

“This is something that can create a foundation for the city to make informed decisions moving forward, whether you include radon testing as part of building permits or sell testing kits out of your offices or include information when city taxes and fees are due from homeowners,” said Jenny Byford, advocacy lead for Take Action on Radon.

One-hundred test kits will be handed out Nov. 20 at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. The test kits, which look like tiny hockey pucks, will be returned on March 20.

Once analyzed, the data from the test kits will be compiled into a nation-wide database showing the radon levels across the city.

Health Canada conducted a similar, but smaller, nation-wide survey in 2012.

But in recent years, communities conducting their own research have been finding much higher levels than those originally reported, said Warkentin.

Prince George and Castlegar, in two B.C. examples, found radon levels to be twice as high as the numbers from the 2012 survey.

Byford said that testing for radon should be as automatic as installing a smoke detector.

“Cancer caused by radon is responsible for more deaths per year than motor vehicle collisions, house fires, carbon-monoxide poisoning and accidental drowning combined,” she said.

“Yet only six per cent of the population has tested their home for radon.”

RELATED: Abbotsford partners with national health coalition for radon awareness campaign

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Tradex has been transformed into a volleyball and basketball facility with Open Court. (Instagram photo)
Abbotsford’s Tradex transforms into sports facility

Open Court program hosting volleyball and basketball teams for practices and possibly games

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford hotdog-stand owner starts campaign to find kidney donors and recipients

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
18 school exposures in Abbotsford since Jan. 6

21 exposures since the the holiday break

Dallas Lajimodiere is wanted by the Abbotsford Police Department.
Man wanted by Abbotsford Police domestic violence unit

Dallas Lajimodiere has three arrest warrants, including for assault with a weapon

Grade 6 students at Eugene Reimer Middle School have been participating in the Equity Backpack Project. (Submitted photo)
Equity Backpack Project in Abbotsford addresses inclusion and anti-racism

Grade 6 teacher Nerlap Sidhu says she wants students to develop ‘strong sense of self’

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, charged in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is to return to court Feb. 2, 2021. (File photos)
Pre-trial conference set for accused in 2017 South Surrey killing

Brandon Nathan Teixeira set to return to Vancouver court Feb. 2

Most Read