Ignoring radon gas risky

Castlegar News reporter Marvin Beatty opines on the gravity of the threat posed by radon gas

The risks of exposure to radon gas are well known and the construction industry and local regulators need to do everything they can to mitigate the dangers associated with it.

The odourless, colourless and naturally occurring gas is prevalent in the Kootenay region and has been proven to be a cancer-causing agent when it decays and leaves particles in the lungs.

On Tuesday, April 1 Dana Schmidt provided City of Castlegar council members a comprehensive review of the work he and others have been doing to reduce exposure to radon.

Schmidt lost his wife, Donna, to lung cancer in 2009. He and his son, Brian, established the Donna Schmidt Memorial Lung Cancer Prevention Society to work toward educating everyone about the problem.

The Health Canada website (www.hc-sc.gc.ca) states “studies have conclusively linked the risk of developing lung cancer to levels of radon found in some houses.”

Local, provincial and federal governments need to ensure building codes are not only drafted, but monitored and enforced, to effectively deal with  the issue of radon in homes.

The presentation Schmidt gave can be seen at http://bc.lung.ca/association_and_services/documents/8-DanaSchmidt.pdf or contact him at dschmidt@golder.com or 201 Columbia Avenue in Castlegar for a detector.

Marvin Beatty