Health Canada recommends that long-term radon detectors be placed in schools, where possible, for an optimal period of 10 months during the school year !
By Michael Gregory, CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2014 7:35 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 17, 2014 1:18 PM ET
Currently, Ontario schools are NOT tested for radon since it doesn't fall specifically under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations R.S.O. 1990 which governs health and safety for Ontario establishments. As well, only employees, not students, are covered under this Act. Some provinces (NS, NB, QC, SK, BC) and many US states already incorporate radon gas testing in schools; this may happen in Ontario in the near future with the passage of the Radon Awareness and Prevention Act 2014 (see below). Why is detection important ? Children spend 7 or more hours each weekday at school possibly exposed to varying levels of radon, then they go home for another 15-16 hours of exposure at home. Because of their young age, children have a much longer time of exposure - literally a lifetime ! What is protecting them from radon exposure ? The answer - a simple and affordable test ! [ Comment by J A Marshall ]
In 2011, Richmond Hill MPP and Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi first introduced a bill that would require the creation of an online registry, as well as a map, for completed radon tests. .“This legislation, if passed, would compel the testing of publicly owned buildings, with special attention paid to day care facilities, elementary and high schools and community centres where children inhabit,” Moridi said.
Current estimates are that 2,000 people, or 10 per cent of all lung cancer deaths, are as a result of radon exposure in homes.
Moridi said it should be a requirement that all public schools in Ontario are safe and radon free.
“Children who are exposed to radon gas will, unfortunately, have a much higher chance of developing lung cancer than others in later stages of their lives as radon gas takes some time to develop into cancer,” he said. This Bill was re-introduced in 2013 but the government fell due to non-confidence.