September 26, 2017

CPCHE's executive director, along with CPCHE colleagues from the Canadian Child Care Federation and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, public officials and radon experts joined voices to call for mandatory action on radon in child care settings, in a commentary published in Environmental Health Review.

Radon is a radioactive soil gas that can build up to harmful levels in indoor spaces. It is a known carcinogen and the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. Despite its known risks and the availability of testing and remediation measures, most child care facilities in Canada are not tested to ensure that radon levels are below the Canadian guideline. The authors examine recent efforts to promote radon action in the child care sector and conclude that voluntary approaches that rely on child care staff to “go it alone” in ensuring radon safety often fall short.  A review of the regulatory landscape reveals specific requirements for radon testing in child care facilities remain scarce in Canada, despite their existence elsewhere. The authors argue that, whether through regulations, licensing requirements or ministry-funded programs, a comprehensive approach to radon safety in child care settings is needed to protect both children and staff.