CARST Blog - Radon in Canada

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  • 02 Jun 2017 3:51 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    Un autre congrès terminé! Les participants de cette année pourront le confirmer, le congrès 2017 de l’ACSTR s’est avéré un succès retentissant! C’est avec l’idée de solutions pratiques bien ancrée dans nos esprits que nous avons commencé le congrès avec une expérience pratique qui consistait en une sortie d’une journée sur le terrain le samedi. Ce nouvel ajout au congrès s’est révélé très populaire. Tellement que les places avaient toutes été réservées bien avant l’événement (prenez-en note pour l’an prochain!). Malgré les époustouflants panoramas de Banff qui captivait le regard de tous les participants, les cours de formation continue du dimanche n’ont pas du tout été délaissés. Au contraire, les participants étaient présents et motivés, si bien que nous avons parfois même manqué de chaises!


    Le lundi, nous avons vu avec un grand plaisir le président de l’ACSTR, Alan Whitehead, remettre le tout premier prix Reconnaissance Arthur G. Scott au Dr Dana Schmidt pour son travail à Castelgar, en Colombie-Britannique. Après le décès de sa femme en 2009, morte d’un cancer des poumons provoqué par le radon, le Dr Schmidt et son fils ont créé la Donna Schmidt Cancer Prevention Society, avec comme mission de réduire les cas de cancers des poumons provoqués par une exposition au radon à la maison et au travail, et ce, partout dans la région. Le Dr Schmidt est un militant et activiste passionné dans la lutte contre le radon, et a convaincu avec succès son conseil municipal d’apporter des modifications au Code du bâtiment. Ces modifications sont ensuite devenues des mesures de prévention du radon dans le Code du bâtiment provincial de la Colombie-Britannique. C’est pour nous un honneur de reconnaître le travail du Dr Schmidt et de lui remettre le tout premier prix Reconnaissance Arthur G. Scott.


    Autre nouveauté cette année, les Olympiques du radon! Cette activité très divertissante nous a permis de suivre quatre équipes de concurrents qui ont tout donné dans des compétitions qui allaient des jeux-questionnaires sur le radon à la coupe de tuyaux, en passant par le nettoyage de fosses de succion, le tout animé en grand par les commentaires de Bill Rounds et Mike Holmes Jr.  Une compétition intense, mais amicale, dont nous sommes tous sortis gagnants au final, puisque les événements nous ont fait bondir de nos chaises tant nous voulions plonger dans l’action.

    Revenons aux choses sérieuses! L’Assemblée générale annuelle s’est tenue le mardi 25 avril.  Le procès-verbal de l’Assemblée est accessible dans la section des membres du site de l’ACSTR.  Les élections du Conseil d’administration ont permis la réélection d’Alan Whitehead et de Rob Mahoney, ainsi que l’élection de Bruce Decker et Mark Donohue.  Nous souhaitons la bienvenue à Bruce et Mark au sein du Conseil et nous remercions ceux et celles qui ont pris le temps de voter.


    Enfin, l’ACSTR a le plaisir de vous annoncer que Pam Warkentin occupe maintenant le poste de directrice exécutive. Puisque l’ACSTR continue de croître et d’évoluer, ce nouveau poste reflète mieux ses tâches et responsabilités. Pour lui offrir un soutien quant aux tâches administratives, Erin Curry a été nommée adjointe administrative. Erin est inspectrice en bâtiment, membre de l’ACSTR et habite près de Montréal, au Québec. En collaboration avec le Conseil d’administration et d’autres comités bien dévoués à la cause, l’équipe administrative déploie un maximum d’efforts pour soutenir l’ACSTR dans l’atteinte de ses buts, tout en améliorant les services et en augmentant les avantages de l’adhésion.


     


    Plus de photos ici...

     Retrouvez les présentations ici....


  • 02 Jun 2017 2:55 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    Another conference is behind us, and as those of you who attended this year can attest, CARST 2017 was a resounding success! With the theme of Practical Solutions firmly in mind, this year’s conference began with hands-on experience during the day-long field trip on Saturday. This new addition to the conference was very popular, and sold out well in advance (heads-up for next year).   Despite the beautiful scenery of Banff vying for everyone’s attention, the continuing education courses on Sunday were well-attended and engaging; in some cases we even ran out of chairs!


    On Monday it was with great pleasure that CARST President Alan Whitehead presented the inaugural Arthur G. Scott Achievement Award to Dr. Dana Schmidt for his work in Castelgar, British Columbia. After losing his wife to radon-induced lung cancer in 2009, Dr. Schmidt and his son established the Donna Schmidt Cancer Prevention Society, with the mission to reduce lung cancer from home and workplace radon exposure throughout the region.  Dr. Schmidt is a passionate radon advocate and activist, and has successfully lobbied his local council to make changes to the building code.  These changes eventually resulted in radon prevention measures being introduced into the provincial building code in British Columbia.  It is an honour to congratulate Dr. Schmidt on his work, and present him with the first Arthur G. Scott Achievement Award.   


    Another new addition to this year’s conference was the Radon Olympics!  This highly entertaining event saw participants form 4 teams to compete in everything from radon trivia to cutting pipe and clearing suction pits, with commentators Bill Rounds and Mike Holmes Jr. broadcasting the action.  The competition was intense but friendly, and ultimately we all came away winners as the events got us out of our seats and into the action.


    On a more serious note, the Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday, April 25.  The minutes from the meeting are available in the Members section of the CARST website.  The results of the Board of Directors Election are as follows: both Alan Whitehead and Rob Mahoney were re-elected, and Bruce Decker and Mark Donohue have been added as new members of the board.  A warm welcome to both Bruce and Mark, and a thank you to all those members who took the time to vote.


    Finally, CARST is pleased to announce that Pam Warkentin has now moved into the role of Executive Director.  As CARST continues to grow and evolve, this new position better reflects her tasks and responsibilities.   Joining her to offer administrative support as Executive Assistant is Erin Curry.  Erin is a home inspector and CARST member based near Montreal, Quebec.  Together with the Board of Directors and various devoted committees, the administrative team is working hard to help CARST achieve our goals, all the while improving our services and increasing membership value.


        

    Find more photos here.


    Find copies of conference presentations here.


  • 20 Apr 2017 12:17 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    CARST/ACSTR & Lung Association-Ontario Urges Wynne Government To Protect Residential

    Tenants/Homeowners Lungs

    Protect residential homeowners and tenants from the dangers of radon


    Toronto- Now that the Ontario government is making housing more affordable, let’s make sure it’s safe. There is an invisible, radioactive gas which, according to Public Health Ontario, is linked to almost 850 deaths in Ontario per year.  It’s not expensive to test, not expensive to fix, but action is needed.  Radon gas needs to be included in these discussions of housing in Ontario.

    We have put a lot of effort into educating homeowners to test their homes and reduce their radon exposures, however not all Canadians are homeowners, and including radon testing as a requirement for landlords is an essential step in ensuring health equity when it comes to reducing radon risk and ensuring radon control measures are included in the building code will further reduce the future cost of reducing levels in all homes.    


    "People work hard to provide for their families. They should be able to rent or enter the real estate market without making great sacrifices or taking on a huge amount of risk. At the same time, we recognize the need to protect the significant investment homeowners have made. This plan balances those needs to stabilize the market and prevent a sharp correction that would be harmful to everyone."
     — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

     

    Research conducted by Public Health Ontario researchers stated that 847 lung cancer deaths a year are attributable to radon. (Lung cancer risk from radon in Ontario, Canada: how many lung cancers can we prevent? August 2013) The researchers concluded that, “interventions that install effective radon-preventive measures into buildings at build may be a good alternative population prevention strategy to testing and remediation,” and “testing and remediation may also prevent a portion of radon-related lung cancer deaths.”


    “After listening to Virginia’s story-[below]- and knowing about the dangers of radon, we are highlighting the need for the Wynne Government to include in any Residential Tenancies’ Act or housing review, action concerning two policy options already on the table today to help protect Ontarians from the dangers of radon,” said Alan Whitehead, President and CEO, Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST/ACSTR).


    Ensuring Health Equity with Radon Risk Reduction needs to include changes in:

    1.  Residential Tenancies Act - Mandating ground contact units be tested for radon, protecting Ontario tenants.

    2. Building Code Amendments - Making changes to the building code to better protect home owners from the dangers of radon.


    “We know government wants to do the right thing, so we urge them to make sure that people like Virginia are protected from the dangers of radon,” said Alan Whitehead. “These two opportunities to save lives and protect Ontarians’ lung health are already on the table. What is needed now is leadership; leadership to bring these options to life through legislation and/or regulations.”


    You have probably heard the old saying “She/he has lung cancer? How is that possible? They never smoked a day in their life.”  This describes Virginia.  She is a non-smoker who gets enough exercise and has done everything right with respect to her lung health. The last thing she expected was to hear from her doctor that she had lung cancer.


    Please take a minute to listen to her tell her story in this short video.

    Virginia’s Story You Tube



    About CARST:

    With a vision to help Canadians reduce radon risk in their home, workplace and public environment. CARST’s mission is to be the authoritative voice on radon information in Canada by bringing together individuals and organizations who recognize the need and are driven to help Canadians with reducing their radon exposure and preventing lung cancer from radon. 

    Contact:                                 

    CARST President,                        Ontario Lung Association                   Public Health Ontario

    Alan Whitehead                             Chris Yaccato                                            Dr. Ray Copes

    Ph: 778-829-5750                          Ph: 416-303-4589                                   Ph: 647-260-7491

    Email: a_whitehead@carst.ca     Email: CYaccato@on.lung.ca               Email: Ray.Copes@oahpp.ca

    www.carst.ca                                  www.on.lung.ca                                       www.publichealthontario.ca


    Backgrounder and facts:

    1. Radon enters buildings through contact with the ground.  In our well-sealed buildings it enters faster than it escapes, resulting in elevated levels and an increased health risk.  Any building has the potential for elevated radon levels including workplaces, schools, daycares and homes.

    2. Additionally, Health Canada warns that the risk to smokers is higher.  Combined effects of smoking and high radon levels can mean a smoker’s risk of developing lung cancer increases from 12% to 33%.

    3. Public Health Ontario confirms that Radon is an important contributor to lung cancer deaths in Ontario, and installing effective radon-preventative measures into buildings may be a good alternative population prevention strategy and testing and remediation may also prevent a portion of radon-related lung cancer deaths.

    4. Radon, as we have learned from TV stars Mike Holmes Sr. and Mike Holmes Jr. through their public service announcements, is an odourless and colourless radioactive gas that attacks our lung tissue.  This can and does lead to lung cancer.


    Resources:

    Health Canada, Radon Fact Sheet for Ontario

    Public Health Ontario Infograph on Radon

    Lung cancer risk from radon in Ontario, Canada: how many lung cancers can we prevent? August 2013, Peterson E, Aker A, Kim J, Li Y, Brand K, Copes R


  • 17 Apr 2017 3:16 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)


    A quick reminder about the radon conference coming up next week. 

     

    This is a great chance to take advantage of the conference to get ready for Radon Action 2017!


    Here is a sneak peak at the conference program.

    Why go to a radon conference?

    • Get your C-NRPP Professional Practice Credits - here is the schedule
    • Find out new research on radon in Canada
    • Connect with others in the business and people working in radon outreach
    • Learn new tricks of the trade
    • Understand aspects about radon, radon measurement, radon mitigation and radon awareness that you hadn’t thought of before
    • Get re-energized for the daily work

    This year’s radon conference will be GREAT!

    • Dr. Goodarzi is presenting on his radon research from Southern Alberta which caught the media attention nation-wide.  If you haven’t heard Dr. Goodarzi present, you are going to love it.  He is a great presenter makes you understand concepts in a way that you will want to integrate into your own radon presentations.
    • Innovative Mitigation Professionals are going to share tricks of the trade.
    • Learn about some work that Alberta Infrastructure, Health Canada, RadonAware and other groups have been working on through the year.
    • Get updates on radon work across Canada.
    • Learn about Mitigation Challenges in our Houses from Heck session – go from feeling like a zero to a hero as you learn new techniques to tackling those mitigation challenges.
    • GREAT FOOD – we make sure you are well fed.  Full breakfasts, snacks and lunch included in Monday and Tuesday’s sessions, plus our Monday Evening – dinner is included, too.
    • Meet the winner of the Arthur G. Scott Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Meet great people
    • Visit Banff.
    • Ski hills are still open.... take an extra day to enjoy some fun on the slopes.

    Dinner out – MountView Barbeque

    • This will be a fun dining experience.  Time to get your ‘Cowboy’ on.  Dress in your best cowboy wear… or just come as you are.  Be ready to relax and enjoy time together.
    • Cost is included in your registration!!
    • Listen to our Guest Speaker – Mike Holmes, Jr. share some of his thoughts on overcoming challenges.

    Experience Banff

    • Come and see wildlife up close – this is not Disneyland, these animals are wild.  It is an amazing way to experience nature.  You may see mountain goats and elk walking through the town, maybe even bears, and moose.  They may look cuddly, but there are no cages around these animals.
    • Find information on travelling to Banff on our Travel to Banff page.

    Radon Olympics

    • Worried you are going to be sitting around all day.  This will give you a chance to get some hands-on fun and competition. 
    • Celebrity Judge – Mike Holmes, Jr. 
    • Celebrity MC – Bill Rounds, Landauer Radon
    We hope to see you soon!



  • 25 Mar 2017 10:50 AM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    President's Message -March 2017 

    It’s already March, and the 2017 CARST Conference is fast approaching.  This year, along with the Annual General Meeting, we’ll have new appointments to CARST’s Board of Directors.  With that in mind, we’d like to take a moment to highlight the work of our two outgoing Directors.


    Michel Deschamps is one of the pioneers of radon measurement in Canada.  A founding member of CARST, he has sat on the Board of Directors since our inaugural meeting in 2010.  As a physicist experienced in radiation protection, he brought a scientific insight to the board.  As a French-speaking Quebecer, Michel also helped connect with CARST’s Quebec membership and spent countless hours translating documents and advocating for measurement professionals across the country.  Michel was Treasurer of the Board of Directors, and a valuable member of the CARST/C-NRPP Education Committee; providing valuable input as part of our course review team.  Michel provided great enthusiasm and support in the early days of starting CARST, which was a much-needed attitude. We all enjoyed Michel’s humour and insight and his contribution to CARST’s growth and development is greatly appreciated.


    Steve Mahoney was elected to the CARST Board of Directors at our annual conference in Winnipeg in 2013. His extensive political and public service experience at both the federal and provincial levels has been invaluable in helping CARST develop strategies to advocate for legislative change to building and labour codes. As the former President & CEO of the Canadian Radiation Safety Institute, Steve passionately campaigned to raise radon awareness in the workplace and successfully engaged a number of trade unions, most notably the Boilermakers, who are now strong radon advocates and generous supporters of CARST. The board will miss Steve’s contribution at our monthly meetings, along with his wit and wise counsel; not to mention his keen Irish sense of humour.


    As Michel and Steve step down, the Board of Directors looks forward to welcoming new members.  We had a great response to the call for nominations, and CARST members will have their pick among several highly-qualified candidates who have offered to bring a wealth of experience to work on CARST’s behalf.


    Involvement in CARST doesn’t end with the Board of Directors, however. We have several committees; each dedicated to putting CARST’s goals into action. Consider joining a CARST committee:

    • The Membership Committee is currently working on some changes that could bring many new faces to CARST.  An increased membership means increased benefits for all CARST members.  Join up and see how you can help!
    • Education Committee: are you passionate about keeping the standards for radon education high?  With every radon test and mitigation CARST members perform, we strive to maintain the highest standards in accuracy and radon reduction.  At the same time, we educate one more Canadian family.  Why not join the Education Committee and help to ensure that our education courses continue to push us to excellence?
    • The 2017 CARST Conference may be just around the corner in beautiful Banff, but we’ve already got some ideas brewing for the 2018 Conference.  The 2018 Conference Committee will need new ideas and fresh energy.  Why not join up and help put your own spin on another great event? 
    • C-NRPP Policy Advisory Board: Help shape the policies that govern the C-NRPP program.  As we strive for increased professionalism in the radon industry, we develop new policies to maintain the highest caliber of certified professionals.
    • Public Awareness Committee: New this year!  Do you have experience in marketing and public awareness?  Would you like to help CARST solidify our position as the radon authority in Canada?  If so, please sign up now and help this brand-new committee get up and running!


    Arthur G. Scott Achievement Award


    Finally, as many of you already know, the Canadian radon industry lost a founding father last September with the passing of Arthur G. Scott.  Arthur was a pioneer; developing soil depressurization systems and laying the groundwork for much of the work we do today.  In honour of his life’s work, CARST is pleased to be awarding the Arthur G. Scott Achievement Award for contributions to the radon industry.  The inaugural award will be presented at this year’s conference in Banff, and we ask that you send us your nominations for this award by March 31st at the latest.  As the name of the award suggests, nominees should be individuals who have made significant contributions to the radon industry in Canada.


    Radon awareness in Canada is growing, and CARST needs to grow as well if we’re to achieve our main goal of protecting Canadians.  Some exciting changes are coming to CARST as we adapt to meet the current needs of the radon industry.  It’s a challenging and important time, and we need your enthusiasm and involvement.  Don’t hesitate to step forward and participate!  Email us or drop by and see us in Banff! 


    Call to Action:

    Upcoming Events:

    Radon Mitigation Course - Moncton

    Radon Measurement - Mississauga

    2017 CARST Radon Conference/Congrès Radon ACSTR


    What's Trending:

    Ontario Building Code updates explained 

    Testing schools for radon – Kelowna

    Schools and Homes should be tested

    How to Test for Radon Gas in your Home 

    How to finish a basement properly – Nova Scotia

    Radon Gas in Guelph - What you need to know 

    Council Challenged Over Radon  – Kingston ON

    How Safe is The Air in That Home You Have Your Eye on? 



    For additional information on the various CARST committees or to sign up online, please visit the CARST website.  Not only will you have a chance to contribute to the radon industry and work with professionals from across the country, but involvement in the CARST committees also counts toward your C-NRPP Professional Practice credits.

    Join us in Banff 

    Get your C-NRPP Continuing Education Course Credits on Sunday, April 23, 2017


  • 20 Jan 2017 5:47 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    Register today.           Draft Schedule

    20 January 2017


    The 2017 CARST Conference is fast approaching, and we are pleased to share some of the highlights planned for this year’s event.  



    Our focus for this year is:
    Practical Solutions for RADON Industry, Awareness and Policy


    Each year, a new conference committee blends local flavor with innovative ideas and industry updates to bring together presentations and conversations that will be an asset to radon professionals across the country. This year is no exception, and we are excited about the conference plans so far!  Over the next few months you’ll be receiving regular updates featuring some of the new ideas featured at this year’s CARST Conference.


    Today's Conference Highlight  


    Saturday Radon Field Trip:

    First ever all-day practical radon field trip! This is no ordinary sight-seeing trip.  These sites will be practical spaces where you will learn hands on and earn 8hrs CE credits.  Choose your top 3 choices when registering.  More information here.

     


    Travel

    Planning your Travel?  Banff is a Unique Destination!

    Majestic, picturesque and breathtaking; the Rocky Mountains are really a destination like no other.   Banff is a wonderful, quaint mountain resort town that must be experienced to be appreciated.  If you have never been to Banff this is a great opportunity to discover a national treasure.  If you have been to Banff, then surely you don’t need a reminder of why you want to return.  As an added bonus, all National Parks are providing free entry this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday!


    A unique destination requires unique planning.


    Hotel:

    The low Canadian dollar means that we expect a large number of American visitors, so make sure you book your hotel room soon!  The conference is being held at the Banff Centre.  Nestled on the side of Tunnel Mountain on 43 serene acres, this is not your standard hotel.  You won't find the centre on any online booking service, as they book only through their reservation service and rooms are only open to those attending conferences at their facility.  All guests enjoy property-wide WIFI, parking, admission to the Banff Centre's Walter Philips Gallery, and PLUS membership at their fitness and recreation facilities.  Let's face it, Banff has lots of options in hotel room, and we booked a smaller block of rooms this year, so if you want to get into the Conference Hotel, book now!  (Conference rate ends March 21, but we don't expect the rooms to last that long.)


    Book your room reservation here at the Banff Centre.


    Air Travel: 

    If you are planning on flying to the conference, you'll land at the Calgary International Airport. All of Canada's national airlines and many international airlines fly into Calgary.  The international section has just been renovated and this is one of the nicest airports in Canada!

    From the Calgary Airport you'll need to rent a car or take a shuttle bus 150 km (90 miles) to Banff.  Make sure you factor in the travel time between Banff and Calgary when you book your flights.

    Shuttle:

    The Airporter

    Receive a 15% discount on the Banff Airporter’s scheduled shuttle service between the Calgary Airport and Banff Centre. Click www.banffairporter.com/book

    Proceed through the reservation and type - CARST - in the Promo Code section on the final payment page to receive the discount. Or call (888) 449-2901 and mention you are attending the CARST conference.

    Promo Code: CARST


    Brewster

    For travel between Apr 20 – 30, 2017 you can receive a 15% discount for all Brewster Banff Airport Express transfers.   Log onto http://www.brewster.ca/transportation/brewster-banff-airport-express/ for schedules and booking.

    Promo Code: CARST2017


    Driving and Car Rental

    There are lots of options at the Calgary airport.  Just Google car rental YYC.  Parking is free at The Banff Centre for all registered guests.

    Bear in mind that if you are driving or renting a car the Banff Park Entrance fees have been waived in 2017 for Canada’s 150th Birthday.  There’s no better time to take advantage of these beautiful parks! 


    Sponsorships are selling fast.

    Diamond Sponsor – 1 of 2 sponsors for the Sunday Meet and Greet - $5000

    • Includes 1 booth; 4 registrations; logo on the conference banner and co-sponsoring the Meet and Greet on Sunday evening

    Platinum Sponsor – 1 of 2 sponsors for the Monday Dinner out - $4000

    • Includes 1 booth; 2 registrations; logo on the conference banner and website; and co-sponsoring the Monday Night Dinner on Monday evening

    Bronze Sponsor – 1 of 4 sponsors of the Refreshment Breaks throughout the conference

    • Includes logo on the conference banner and website; and ½ page ad in the program

    Half Page Advertisement: $   150                       Full Page Advertisement: $ 300


    Email: info@carst.ca if you are interested in sponsorships.


  • 22 Dec 2016 3:42 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    As 2016 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on achievements over the past year in the Canadian radon industry.  All across the country, CARST members and associate organizations worked hard to make 2016’s Radon Action Month the best yet, but our efforts weren’t limited to November alone! In the following paragraphs, we review some of the progress made over the past twelve months, but of course we’re already looking ahead to 2017.  If CARST had one wish for 2017, it would be that CARST members continue to see ever increasing benefits from all the groundwork we’ve been laying over the past few years.  As evidenced by the remarkable number of radon news items that went to press this past November, radon awareness is growing like never before. We’ll have to wait and see how this increased awareness translates into increased business opportunities and lung cancer prevention in 2017 and the years to come, but for the moment we can reflect on the past year and appreciate the progress we’ve made.


    Check out the tremendous list of articles from November 2016 on our website at:

    http://carst.ca/radonnews


    In Ontario CARST has focused on working with the Ontario Lung Association (OLA) and Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) in lobbying for radon in Residential Tenancy legislation and the Ontario Building Code, and assisting municipalities in recognizing their part in the radon issue. CARST funded booths at various trade shows and conferences throughout the province, funded OLA initiatives for public service announcements and provided insight and expertise into the development of their initiatives.


    In Alberta, CARST has worked to raise awareness by initiating a provincial radon group to identify and discuss issues.  Over the year, CARST has supported public awareness forums which targeted homeowners, physicians, and building officials, as well as working to encourage further school testing. C-NRPP certification is now required in Alberta school constructions, and the Alberta government is recommending C-NRPP professionals when conducting testing. And of course we look forward to the furthering momentum in the province with hosting our 2017 Radon Conference in Banff.


    In BC, CARST has worked with RadonAware and the BC Lung Association and participated in lobbying for the building code changes, and worked to increase awareness amongst homeowners, builders and school officials.  CARST has worked with the BC RadonAware and Home Builders’ Association in efforts to raise awareness on radon, measurement and building codes.


    In Saskatchewan, CARST has been a voice in the Saskatchewan Take Action on Radon Group and the Saskatchewan Lung Association.  This group has a lot of momentum, and it has been a pleasure to work with an enthusiastic group.


    In Manitoba, CARST has worked with the Manitoba Radon Stakeholder Group to identify issues and increase awareness efforts, and we have been able to provide increased awareness to government officials and homeowners.  C-NRPP has sponsored an award with the Manitoba Lung Association for a radon video contest, and is working with Manitoba Cancer Society to provide test kits to MLAs (provincial representatives) and to raise awareness in municipalities and has provided support to the Univerisity of Manitoba and First Nations as they are working to engage their residents in testing their homes.


    In Quebec, CARST/C-NRPP increased our profile with a booth at the CAPHI conference in Montreal, and by hosting the CARST 2016 conference in Montreal as well. Quebec has been an example to other provinces with their provincial strategy on radon, mandatory radon testing in schools and is now in the process of mitigating their schools.


    In the Maritime provinces, CARST has continued to work with the New Brunswick Lung Association to promote Radon Action Month.  We worked with CAREX to host a radon workshop in Halifax.  This November, free radon test kits were distributed in at least 10 Nova Scotia communities, and radon awareness across the region continues to grow.

    In the North, Whitehorse distributed free test kits to citizens while Yukon health officials urged residents to test for radon.  Radon Action Month was a success, with many news articles appearing and increased awareness.


    There are many groups that cross provincial borders as we work nationally with CAREX, Simon Fraser University, Health Canada, CELA and we are thankful for the amazing co-operative efforts with all these various groups across the country to be able to provide radon information.  CARST also attended the Federal Municipalities conference, where we spoke to some Quebec (as well as Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario) municipalities about being more engaged in radon for their residents.


    Day by day, week after week, it is the hard work and dedication of every one of you that has helped efforts of radon awareness and reaching the goals CARST set out when we started up 5 years ago.  With every news article, every lobbying effort, every community radon event, and each and every person we talk to, radon awareness in this country continues to grow.  As we take time to relax and connect over the holidays, we should take pride in the knowledge of what we’ve achieved.  And, as we turn our thoughts toward the new year, we should set our goals even higher, so that we may rise to reach them.  Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season, and all the best for 2017!


  • 22 Dec 2016 3:32 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    En cette fin d’année 2016, nous voulons prendre un moment pour réfléchir à nos réalisations de la dernière année dans l’industrie canadienne du radon.  Partout au pays, les membres et les organizations associés de l’ACSTR ont travaillé ardemment pour faire du mois du radon 2016 le plus remarquable à ce jour, mais nos efforts ne se sont pas limités au seul mois de novembre! Dans le texte suivant, nous résumons quelques progrès accomplis au cours des douze derniers mois et déjà nous envisageons avec optimisme l’année 2017.  Si l’ACSTR formulait un voeu pour 2017, ce serait qu’on continue à voir les bienfaits et résultats  obtenus par le travail acharné des quelques dernières années; nous en avons déjà tant fait.  Nous devrons attendre et voir comment les efforts investis augmenteront la sensibilisation au radon et la prévention du cancer des poumons en 2017 et dans les années à venir, mais actuellement nous pouvons repenser à la dernière année et reconnaître les progrès accomplis.


    Consultez l’importante liste d’articles de novembre 2016 dans notre site web à:

    http://carst.ca/radonnews


    En Ontario, l’ACSTR a surtout travaillé avec l’association pulmonaire d’Ontario (Ontario Lung Association- OLA) et l’association canadienne du droit de l’environnement (ACDE) pour faire du lobbying sur le radon à propos de la législation sur la location résidentielle et le code du bâtiment de l’Ontario et pour aider les municipalités à reconnaître leur part de responsabilité sur le radon. L’ACSTR a financé des stands dans divers salons professionnels et des conférences à travers la province, des projets de l’OLA pour des annonces de services publics et a mis ses réflexions et son expertise au profit de la mise en œuvre de projets.


    En Alberta, l’ACSTR a contribué à stimuler la prise de conscience en créant un groupe provincial sur le radon pour identifier et discuter des problèmes.  Au cours de l’année, l’ACSTR a aussi appuyé des forums publics sur la sensibilisation à l’intention des propriétaires, des médecins et des administrateurs en construction  et a travaillé à encourager davantage l’évaluation des écoles. La certification PNCR-C est maintenant exigée en Alberta pour la construction d’écoles et le gouvernement albertain recommande que les professionnels du PNRC-C mènent les tests. Évidemment, nous envisageons positivement  l’instigation d’une initiative dans la province quand nous accueillerons notre Congrès 2017 sur le radon à Banff


    En C.B., l’ACSTR a participé au lobbying sur le changement au code du bâtiment et a travaillé à augmenter la conscientisation des propriétaires, des entrepreneurs et des administrateurs d’école.  L’ACSTR a collaboré avec l’inititiative RadonAware et l’association des constructeurs des maisons (Home Builders’ Association) de la C.B. dans ses efforts pour augmenter la prise de conscience sur le radon, les mesures du radon et le code du bâtiment.


    En Saskatchewan, l’ACSTR s’est exprimé au sein du groupe Occupe-toi du radon Saskatchewan.  Ce  groupe est très dynamique et il a été très agréable de travailler avec un groupe aussi enthousiaste.


    En Manitoba, l’ACSTR a collaboré avec un groupe provincial pour identifier les problèmes et augmenter les efforts de conscientisation et nous avons pu sensibiliser davantage les administrateurs gouvernementaux et les propriétaires.  Le PNCR-C travaille aussi avec des groupes du Manitoba pour fournir des trousses d’analyse au membres de l’assemblée législative provinciale et pour amener davantage les municipalités et les Premières Nations à inciter les résidents à vérifier leurs maisons.


    Au Québec, l’ACSTR et le PNCR-C ont augmenté leur visibilité en ayant un stand au congrès de ACIBII à Montréal et en accueillant aussi le congrès de l’ACSTR 2016 à Montréal. L’ACSTR a aussi assisté au congrès des municipalités fédérales, où nous avons discuté avec des représentants de quelques municipalités du Québec (de même que de l’Alberta, du Manitoba et de l’Ontario) pour les inciter à sensibiliser davantage leurs résidents sur le radon.  Le Québec est un modèle pour les autres provinces par sa stratégie provinciale sur le radon, l’analyse obligatoire du radon dans les écoles et  maintenant dans le processus d’atténuation du radon dans ses écoles.


    Dans les provinces de l’Atlantique, l’ACSTR a continué à travailler avec l’Association pulmonaire du Nouveau-Brunswick pour promouvoir le mois de sensibilisation au radon.  En novembre, des trousses d’analyse du radon ont été distribuées gratuitement dans au moins 10 communautés de la Nouvelle-Écosse et la sensibilisation au radon se fait plus grande dans la région.


    Dans le Nord, Whitehorse a distribué gratuitement des trousses de mesure du radon aux citoyens alors que les administrateurs de la santé du Yukon ont incité les résidents à faire les tests de radon.  Le mois de sensibilisation au radon a été un succès et plusieurs articles ont été publiés dans les journaux pour une plus grande sensibilisation.


    Jour après jour, semaine après semaine, c’est le travail acharné et l’implication de chacun de vous qui ont aidé à augmenter la sensibilisation au radon et à atteindre les objectifs que l’ACSTR s’était fixés à l’origine, il y a 5 ans.  Avec chaque article, chaque effort de lobbying,  chaque activité  communautaire sur le radon et avec chacune des personnes auxquelles nous parlons, la sensibilisation au radon continue à croître dans le pays.  Maintenant, pendant que nous commençons à relaxer et à nous réunir pendant la période des Fêtes, nous devrions être fiers de nos réalisations.  Et, en pensant à la prochaine année, nous devrions avoir de plus grands objectifs et tenter de les atteindre.  Nous vous souhaitons de très belles Fêtes et tous nos meilleurs voeux pour 2017!


  • 07 Dec 2016 4:20 PM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    The Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) is making efforts to encourage all citizens to join in the effort to advocate for changes to the building code.  Acceptance of proposed changes to Ontario Building Code (OBC) are governed by consensus.  Residents of Ontario need your help to protect their lives and health by ensuring radon testing is conducted in all new construction.  Every comment is an important vote!


    The Ontario Building Code is currently open for review on proposed changes and are accepting comments until December 20.  Please take time to add your comment now!


    If you would like to further educate yourself about the proposed changes to the OBC, we have provided links to the relevant sections:


    3.1.1.2    Radon   

    5.4.1.1    Resistance to Air Leakage

    6.2.1.1    Good Engineering Practice

    9.1.1.7    Radon

    9.13.4.1   Soil Gas Control

    9.13.4.2   Required Soil Gas Control

    9.25.3.1   Required Barrier to Air Leakage


    According to Public Health Ontario, almost 850 lung cancer deaths that occur each year in Ontario are attributable to radon (2)(Ontario Public Health, 2016), yet mandatory radon testing for all newly constructed buildings with residential occupancy is not in the current OBC.  


    Eleven (11) people, on average, in Ontario die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning (1)(Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs 2016).  Radon kills 77 times more people in Ontario every year than carbon monoxide.  Both inhalable gases (i.e. carbon monoxide, radon) are colourless and odourless and both gases pose a risk to almost all Canadians. Precedence has dictated that building code requirements are in place to protect 11 Ontario residents annually from death due to toxic carbon monoxide, so surely such protection is prudent to protect 850 Ontario residents annually, and future occupants, from death due to radon induced lung cancer.



    We would like to see that the changes to the OBC include mandatory radon testing and that the testing be completed by certified C-NRPP Measurement Professionals.



    To add your comments click here: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page14994.aspx 


    The specific code change reference # is B-09-13-05.


    We are recommending that people add comments to state their support for mandatory radon testing after construction an occupancy with a certified C-NRPP  Measurement Professional.


    Works Cited in above:

    (1)Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. (2016). Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. Retrieved 11 27, 2016, from Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs: http://www.oafc.on.ca/carbon-monoxide

    (2)Ontario Public Health. (2016). Ontario Public Health. Retrieved 11 27, 2016, from Ontario Public Health: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/BrowseByTopic/EnvironmentalandOccupationalHealth/Pages/Radon-Burden-of-Illness.aspx


  • 14 Nov 2016 11:38 AM | Pam Warkentin (Administrator)

    CARST’s focus for this year’s Radon Action Month is to help our members increase radon awareness in their communities.  To do this, we have developed a range of ideas and supporting materials and are providing them to you here.  We hope these ideas will inspire you to choose one or more interest groups in your community, and reach out and connect!

    You are welcome to download and print any of the following items yourself; if you’d like us to print the material and ship it to you please allow 2 weeks before the items will be delivered. 


    Check out information on the Take Action on Radon November 2, launch at the Ontario Science Centre, here.


    Municipal Outreach:

    Child Care Centers:


    As part of Radon Outreach we anticipate the release of a report on daycares by CAREX (CARcinogen EXposure Canada) and CPCHE (Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health & Environment); we will post the release to our Facebook and twitter account, you can also find the twitter feed on the front page of our website, so watch for it; this may be a good time to contact your local child care facility and encourage them to test for radon.


    Here are some tools to help you, including:
    • Easy to understand Pamphlet on Testing Child Care Centers
    • Postcards for parents
    • Posters to put up around the center
    • Sample letter for child care centers to send
    • Sample radon test record for keeping track of test data

    Workplace Information:


    As part of radon outreach, Pollution Probe is putting out a Radon Challenge encouraging workplaces to test for radon and to have their employees test for radon.
    • Click here for more information
    • Consider approaching local workplaces to do a “Lunch and Learn” or “Breakfast Break” session on radon for their employees

    Doctor’s Offices

    • Perhaps you can reach out to your own doctor or the doctors in your neighbourhood.  Take in with copies of “Radon is it in your Home” pamphlets; so they can make these available in their offices, and you can provide the staff with information on the MacHealth course that Health Canada has developed by giving them a radon.machealth.ca - Radon Education Program card.
    • You can order these from radon@hc-sc.gc.ca  or info@carst.ca (for a package of it all)

    CARST is also collaborating with other groups on the following areas to make changes happen:

    Schools

    • We anticipate CAREX will soon be releasing a report on school testing.  CARST is working with various groups to make recommendations to provincial health officials on making a policy to test all the schools in the province.

    New Home Warranty Programs

    • CARST is working to protect new homeowners from high radon levels; we are preparing a letter to write to all the home warranty programs to ask if they would consider including radon as part of their coverage.

    Public Forums (check out our event page)

    • We work with various groups to get information sessions for public awareness; CARST has been working in Manitoba, Alberta and BC this fall, we will post dates on our website.  Let us know if you want support to have this happen in your area.

    That’s it for this month.  With so many ideas available, let’s all take our message to heart and make November the month we take action on radon!


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