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Radon Testing Pilot Project in SD8

January 20th 2023

School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) is collaborating with Interior Health to test for radon in in district buildings including schools, as part of a province-wide pilot project initiated by Interior Health.

Interior Health is providing radon test kits, training and support to SD8 staff who will test for radon in district buildings over the next two years. Staff have already begun deploying puck-like radon testing devices in schools. Each device will remain in place for at least 91 days and for optimal results, testing will occur in the cooler seasons while school is in session.

Once the tests are completed, Interior Health will work with the district to reduce radon levels if necessary.

Improving ventilation is one of the most effective ways to reduce radon indoors. SD8 has already upgraded HVAC systems in many of its buildings and schools to ensure good air quality for students and staff.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally formed in the earth. Radon has no color, odor, or taste and can accumulate indoors, particularly in basements and ground floors. Radon is second to only smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, radon levels are generally higher in the Interior regions than other areas of the province. The only way to know radon levels is to test for it.

Families who wish to find out more about the Interior Health pilot project can contact Interior Health at HealthySchools@interiorhealth.ca.

For more information and resources about radon in B.C. and to order a long-term test kit go to Interior Health’s Radon Information page.