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Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists

Helping Canadians Reduce Radon Risk

Proposed Ontario Building Code (OBC) Changes - period of review open until Dec 20

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


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