Regulating Exposure to Radon Gas

Regulating Exposure to Radon Gas in BC Homes

January 3, 2014

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada after smoking – causing an estimated 2000 lung cancer deaths a year. The gas is an odourless, colourless radioactive gas formed by the natural decay of uranium deposits in the earth. It is ubiquitous throughout Canada and can leak through unprotected building foundations to reach concentrations that are hazardous to the health of building occupants. Simple remediation measures can usually address the risk. However, often people are simply unaware of the presence of the gas in their basements and homes. Numerous jurisdictions have acted to address this hazard by taking measures to:

  • upgrade building codes;
  • educate the public about the problem;
  • require and subsidize testing and remediation;
  • identify and map where radon is a hazard; and
  • require disclosure of known radon problems in buildings;


BC could learn from what they have done. Recently ELC student Jeff Miller completed research for the Canadian Cancer Society (BC-Yukon) into laws around the world that regulate radon gas – and what a truly comprehensive BC system of regulation might entail. Click here to read the report.