PEI

P.E.I. Lung Association wants to 'shine some light' on radon with detector loan program

The P.E.I. Lung Association is launching a radon detector loan program to make Islanders aware of the naturally occurring radioactive gas and its dangers.

5-7 detectors should be available on loan starting in November

'Each year we see an increase in more and more people wanting to test their homes,' says Robert MacDonald, executive director of the P.E.I. Lung Association. (Michelle Donaldson)

The P.E.I. Lung Association is launching a radon detector loan program so Islanders can test for the presence of the naturally occurring and dangerous radioactive gas in their homes.

Radon is found in soil and can seep into buildings. Exposure to high levels poses a health risk — the invisible, odourless and tasteless gas is the number 1 cause of lung cancer for non-smokers, according to Health Canada. 

With the detector there will be a little packaged enclosed with it and some statistics on radon — what steps to be taken should you have high levels of radon.— Robert MacDonald, P.E.I. Lung Association

"Radon levels in P.E.I. are some of the lowest in Canada but that does not mean that your home doesn't have it," said Robert MacDonald, executive director of the P.E.I. Lung Association.

Five to seven detectors should be available on loan from the Confederation Centre Public Library starting in November, he said.

"With this program, that will really kind of shine some light on radon and have people, homeowners, give them the ability to loan out a radon detector and test their home to see if their levels are high," MacDonald said.

"With the detector there will be a little packaged enclosed with it and some statistics on radon — what steps to be taken should you have high levels of radon."

Detectors can be loaned for up to five weeks, MacDonald said.

The association received a $1,000 micro-grant from the city of Charlottetown for the project.

Success in other provinces

MacDonald said there has been huge demand for a similar program offered in Nova Scotia, where 50 detectors are available at libraries across the province.

"Some libraries have a huge waiting list."

MacDonald said the hope is to do the same on P.E.I. and eventually expand the program to libraries across the province.

MacDonald said the whole point is to get people talking about, and aware of, radon.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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