New standards bring new testing for radon
Health officials on P.E.I. will testing for radon gas in public buildings this winter in response to new standards set earlier this year by Health Canada.
The new standards require levels one-quarter of what was previously acceptable. Radon is a colourless, odourless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment, and has been linked to lung cancer. Outside, the gas generally disperses to harmless concentrations, but it can be dangerous indoors.
"Health Canada has recently announced that the new national guidelines for acceptable levels of radon gas in indoor air to go from 800 to 200 becquerels per cubic metre," Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief health officer told CBC News Tuesday.
A becquerel is a measure of radioactive decay.
"With that reduction we want to find out what our levels are on P.E.I. The testing will be done right across the Island, and we're doing schools, manors, hospitals and seniors housing units."
Health Canada proposed the stronger standards in June.
Over the next few months, radon measurement tests will be carried out at 100 sites across the island.
The random tests in P.E.I. will be done during the winter months. The final results will be released in the summer.