Yukon will soon be the first jurisdiction in Canada to make radon testing a licensing requirement for child care facilities.
The territory announced it will develop a phased-in approach to the radon testing and mitigation licensing requirement, which will also apply to family day homes. Over the coming months, the government will be working with licensed child care facilities to determine how this requirement will be implemented.
“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,” noted Minister of Health and Social services Pauline Frost.
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.
“Exposure to radon is an important health concern for Yukon children,” said Yukon’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Catherine Elliott. “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.”