Education

Department of Education

Radon monitoring in Yukon schools

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Government of Yukon response to radon

In September 2017, the Government of Yukon finalized the Radon Management Guideline, which is a unified approach to radon testing, monitoring and, where necessary, remediation in all government buildings, including schools. We will follow these practices to test radon levels in schools, and will remediate schools as needed to ensure radon levels are within the range recommended by Health Canada.

Prior to the development of these guidelines, we monitored radon levels in all Yukon schools during the 2016/17 school year following Health Canada’s guidelines for Indoor Air Quality. 

Health Canada’s recommended levels of radon concentration for acceptable indoor air quality are as follows:

  • Below 200 Bq/m3*– acceptable
  • Between 200 Bq/m3 and 600 Bq/m3 – remediate within 2 years
  • Above 600 Bq/m3 – remediate within 1 year

*Bq/m3 =Becquerel per cubic metre

It is important for you to check the radon levels in your home, too. You can get radon test kits from your local hardware store. To learn more, visit the Yukon Housing Corporation.

2016/17 radon monitoring results from schools

In the 2016/17 school year, radon monitoring devices were placed in Yukon schools. The results of this monitoring are as follows:

School Highest reading Lowest reading
Chief Zzeh Gittlit 6 bq 6 bq
Christ the King 148 Bq 74 Bq
Del Van Gorder 91 Bq 41 Bq
École Émilie-Tremblay 59 Bq 37 Bq
Elijah Smith  27 Bq 27 Bq
Eliza Van Bibber 64 Bq 64 Bq
F.H. Collins 33 Bq 22 Bq
Gadzoosdaa Residence 37 Bq 15 Bq
Ghùch Tlâ Community 44 Bq 44 Bq
Golden Horn 71 Bq 11 Bq
Grey Mountain 104 Bq 78 Bq
Hidden Valley 43 Bq 43 Bq
Holy Family 175 Bq 111 Bq
Individual Learning Centre 44 Bq 37 Bq
J.V. Clark 18 Bq 18 Bq
Jack Hulland 427 Bq 25 Bq
Johnson Elementary 45 Bq 15 Bq
Kluane Lake 62 Bq 40 Bq
Nelnah Bessie John  209 Bq 179 Bq
Porter Creek 48 bq 18 Bq
Robert Service  23 Bq 14 Bq
Ross River 88 Bq 82 Bq
Selkirk 39 Bq 18 Bq
St. Elias Community 80 Bq 34 Bq
Takhini 52 Bq 33 Bq
Tantalus 11 Bq 11 Bq
Teen Parent Centre 230 Bq 230 Bq
Teslin 48 bq 48 Bq
Vanier 69 bq 60 Bq
Watson Lake  24 Bq 24 Bq
Whitehorse Elementary 77 Bq 71 Bq
Wood Street Centre 81 Bq 33 Bq

According to Health Canada’s Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality, results for Jack Hulland Elementary, Nelnah Bessie John and the Teen Parent Centre indicate these schools must be remediated within two years. Radon levels at Holy Family Elementary were also near Health Canada's recommended levels and will be remediated.

In fall 2017, we completed remediation work at Nelnah Bessie John. We expect remediation work to be completed at Jack Hulland Elementary School in late 2017, Holy Family Elementary in late 2017/early 2018 and the Teen Parent Centre in January 2018.

Results for all other schools fell below Health Canada’s guidelines. During winter 2017/18, between the heating season of October to April, we will test all Yukon schools following the new Radon Management Guideline. Testing will take place over a minimum of 3 months and will be completed or guided by a certified radon measurement professional. If required, further remediation will then be done on any school that tests above levels recommended by Health Canada.

About radon

Radon is a colourless, odorless, naturally occurring gas in Yukon. It can enter buildings through cracks and unsealed openings in basements and foundations from the soil.

Radon does not pose an immediate danger to health and is only a concern if there is prolonged exposure to high concentrations over many years.

Contact - Education

Yukon Education
Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon
Canada Y1A 2C6

Phone: 867-667-5141
Toll free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 5141
Fax: 867-393-6339
Email: contact.education@gov.yk.ca

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