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Thunder Bay Food Strategy
Safe Cycling Thunder Bay

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 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/mis 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

Test your home

Learn more about radon: Click for more information

Learn more


This project is delivered with support from Health Canada. 

562 Red River Road,
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7B 1H3
Due to COVID-19 social restrictions, our office is currently closed to the public.
We are offering curbside pick-up through our online store.

Temporary phone hours:
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday. 

Phone: 807-624-2140

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