Radon detectors are at your local library!
Which libraries in Northwestern Ontario have Digital Radon Detectors available for loan?
Digital Radon Detectors are available at the following locations:
- Thunder Bay Public Libraries
- Oliver Paipoonge Public Libraries
- Nipigon Public Library
- Red Rock Public Library
- Dorion Public Library
- Marathon Public Library
New libraries will be added in fall 2020. If your location is not listed here, please ask your librarian to contact Caroline@EcoSuperior.org to inquire about participating.
Why should residents of Northwestern Ontario test for radon gas?
Radon is the #2 cause of lung cancer in Canada. Residents of Northwestern Ontario are at an increased risk for radon-induced lung cancer. A 2012 Health Canada study found that 12% of homes in the Thunder Bay District have high levels of radon, compared to 5% of homes across Ontario. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has conducted follow-up municipal-level studies that have found that 16% of homes in Thunder Bay, 17% of homes in Marathon, and 65% of homes in Oliver Paipoonge test above the Health Canada guidelines.
How do I use the short-term Digital Radon Detector?
Place the detector in the lowest room in your home where you spend four hours a day or more. Tests should be conducted in a bedroom, living room, or rec room. Do not test in a kitchen, bathroom, or hallway. You will obtain the most accurate results in winter, when windows and doors are closed. Place the device in a location that is representative of the air that you breathe, for example on a bedroom nighttable. We recommend collecting data for 1-3 weeks. The longer the test, the more accurate your result. Do not move the device for the duration of the test; if you want to test a second location, press 'RESET' and begin a new test.
What do my results mean?
The LONG TERM AVERAGE estimates your average annual radon exposure. Health Canada recommends that residents fix their homes if their long-term average is higher than the Canadian Guideline of 200 Bq/m3. Note that 200 Bq/m3 is not a "magic number" and other juristictions have set more proactive guidelines. The US Environmental Protection Agency's guildine is 150 Bq/m3, and the World Health Organization's guideline is 100 Bq/m3.
What is the difference between a short-term Digital Radon Detector and a long-term radon detector?
Both short-term Digital Radon Detectors and long-term radon detectors measure the level of the cancer-causing gas radon in your home.
The main advantage of short-term Digital Radon Detectors is that they are reusable. Because of this factor, short-term Digital Radon Detectors can be on loan for free from local libraries. Many residents want to learn more about their radon levels before they invest $50 in a long-term radon test kit, and short-term Digital Radon Detectors make this possible. However, residents are encouraged to follow up using a long-term radon test that is certified by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program. Long-term radon detectors offer the most accurate measurement and should be used to make decisions about fixing your home. For more information on long-term radon detectors, click here.
Your next step: Click for more information about testing for radon
Learn more about radon: Click for more information
This project is delivered with support from Health Canada.