Radon Kit Information

*** The kits have been temporarily returned to the BC Lung Association for the summer months. The kits will be tested for accuracy and returned to the library in the Fall. Holds will resume in the same order.

*Please be advised there is currently a long wait period for this item. We cannot make any guarantees that the kit will arrive back at the anticipated time.

Click here to find the radon kit in our catalogue. Click “place hold” be put on the waitlist for the radon lending kit. Please call the library if you have any questions.

The Kootenays – Boundary Library Lending Program

Libraries in the Kootenays and Boundary region can now offer patrons the option of checking-out digital radon monitors to test for radon in their homes. These devices have a digital display and allow homeowners the ability to quickly view radon levels in their homes and better understand how radon gas concentrations fluctuate over time. The program is free of charge for library patrons. The Kits are available for four-week loans.

Radon gas is a cause of lung cancer in Canada

Radon is an underappreciated indoor air hazard in homes and workplaces. Radon gas is radioactive and long-term exposure is clearly linked to lung cancer. Indeed, radon gas is the leading cause of cancer death in non-smokers and is estimated to causes over 3200 deaths per year in Canada.

Radon gas comes from naturally occurring uranium in soils and rocks and some regions in Canada have more uranium than others. Radon levels in homes can be elevated but it is impossible to tell unless you test as the gas is odorless, tasteless and colorless. There are a range of devices that can be used to determine radon levels in homes and testing is recommended in basements or rooms that have ground level contact as the gas enters homes through cracks or holes in foundations and can accumulate in these areas.

Aim of the program

The intent of this program is to increase awareness about radon and encourage people to test their homes. The majority of people’s exposure occurs where they live. The digital monitors allow people to explore radon “in real time” and the kits come with information about radon, factors that influence radon levels indoors and strategies to reduce exposure.

Placement and accuracy of the monitors 

The digital monitors used in this program are intended for short-term testing and do not replace the long-term tests recommended by Health Canada. Because the loan period needs to be limited, the intent of providing these devices for loan is to simply provide homeowners with an idea of the radon levels in their home.

It is recommended that patrons monitor their homes for three weeks to gather the most accurate data from this device. Rooms at the lowest level of the home where people spend at least four hours are preferable sites for testing. After patrons finish with the monitor (any time in the 3 week loan period), they return it to the library and reset the device, removing their readings from the memory.  After this preliminary screening, participants can decide to test for a longer period with one of the low-cost kits that are available from BC Lung along or other local providers.

What are the recommendations around radon?

Radon is found in some concentrations in all rocks and soils although higher levels generated greater risk of developing cancer. The Government of Canada’s action level for radon, the level at which they recommend changes to your home, is 200 bq/m3. The World Health Organization recommends 100 bq/m3.

If your daily average level exceeds guideline levels, it is recommended that you reduce your exposure. There are steps you can take right away to lower radon levels and there are certified professionals you can contact that will help to reduce the amount of radon entering your home.

Who is involved in this program?

The Radon Library lending program is provided free to library patrons through support from Health Canada, the BC Lung Association, Simon Fraser University and the Kootenay Library Federation.