New Brunswick

Radon levels above limit at Meduxnekeag Consolidated School

Recent testing revealed radon levels above Health Canada limits at Meduxnekeag Consolidated School.

Letter sent home to parents said there is no immediate health risk to students or staff

Anglophone West School District said the Department of Education is working on the mitigation plan. (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit)

Anglophone West School District officials have confirmed recent tests at Meduxnekeag Consolidated School in Woodstock, N.B., showed radon levels above the limit set by Health Canada.

A letter sent home to parents dated June 19 said Health Canada and the provincial public health authority assured there is no immediate health risk to students or staff.

The exposure limit for radon gas indoors is 200 becquerels per cubic meter. Becquerel is the unit used to measure radioactivity.

"For example, exposure to 200 Bq/m3 levels of radon every day, all day for 70 years results in a two per cent increased risk of developing lung cancer," the letter reads. 

Radon is a radioactive gas that is colourless, odourless and tasteless and formed when uranium breaks down naturally. 

Judy Cole, communications director for the district, said via email that mitigation for radon levels is carried out as needed with ventilation systems in school buildings.

"Mitigation work will be done over the next few months to ensure health standards are met," she said.

Meduxnekeag Consolidated School was opened in 2015.

The letter said radon testing was carried out at the school from December 2018 to May 2019.

Cole said the province has been doing radon testing regularly since 2007.

The letter says the Department of Education is working on the mitigation plan for the rooms in the school that tested above the limit.