Radon testing to become a requirement for child care centres and family day homes
For release 17-221
Oct 18, 2017
The Government of Yukon is developing a phased-in approach to make radon testing and mitigation a licensing requirement for child care centres and family day homes in the territory.
Over the coming months, the government will be working with licensed child care facilities to determine how this requirement will be implemented.
Radon is a radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium in soil, rock, or water. It is a colourless and odourless gas that is found naturally in the environment. It can seep into buildings through cracks in foundation walls and floors, or gaps around pipes and cables.
Exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The effects of radon exposure are worsened in people who smoke or who are exposed to second-hand smoke.
“Our government is taking steps to ensure the health and safety of Yukon children. Making radon testing a licensing requirement will ensure all children in licensed child care centres and day homes throughout Yukon are protected from exposure to radon levels above those specified in Health Canada’s guidelines.”
–Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
“Exposure to radon is an important health concern for Yukon children. The best ways to protect children’s lungs are to keep their air clear of second-hand smoke and to protect children from high radon concentrations.”
–Yukon’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Catherine Elliott
- Yukon is the first jurisdiction in Canada that plans to make radon a licensing requirement for child care facilities.
- The risk of developing lung cancer from radon depends on the concentration of radon in the air and the duration of exposure. Smokers exposed to elevated levels of radon are at a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer.