Learn about radon testing in Yukon schools

  • Radon testing in Yukon schools
  • 2017–18 testing results (Bq/m3)
  • Previous radon testing

  1. Radon testing in Yukon schools

    In spring 2018, we tested radon levels in Yukon schools. Testing involved installing equipment:

    • for at least 3 months;
    • in every single room on the lowest level of a school being used for more than 4 hours a day.

    What is radon

    Radon is a colourless, odourless, naturally occurring gas in Yukon. Coming from the soil, it can enter buildings through cracks and unsealed openings in

    • basements; and
    • foundations.

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

    Measurements for radon are measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). According to Health Canada’s Guide for Radon Measurements in Public Buildings, 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

    Recent test results

    These schools were slightly above Health Canada’s recommended levels for radon:

    • Christ the King Elementary;
    • Eliza Van Bibber; and
    • Holy Family Elementary.

    Next steps

    We are working with staff and planning remediation work at:

    • Christ the King Elementary; and
    • Eliza Van Bibber.

    We’ll complete remediation work at both schools within the 2-year timeframe recommended by Health Canada. We’ll then re-test both schools to ensure radon levels are below the recommended levels.

    Remediation was completed at Holy Family Elementary in January 2018. We’ll re-test radon levels during the 2019–20 heating season.

    We’ll continue to ensure radon levels at Yukon schools remain within levels recommended by Health Canada. We’ll re-test schools if:

    • there’s work done on a school exterior, foundation or basement;
    • seismic activity affects the school building;
    • the ground or basement floors are renovated; or
    • radon remediation work has been done in a school.

  2. 2017–18 testing results (Bq/m3)
     school  Highest  Lowest
     Chief Zzeh Gittlit  41  22
     Christ the King  248  63
     Del Van Gorder  122  56
     Émilie-Tremblay  81  26
     Elijah Smith  96  33
     Eliza Van Bibber  204  78
     F.H. Collins  48  22
     Gadzoosdaa Residence  52  15
     Ghùch Tlâ Community  137  67
     Golden Horn  67  22
     Grey Mountain  74  52
     Hidden Valley  63  26
     Holy Family  204  78
     Individual Learning Centre  56  26
     J.V. Clark  126  56
     Jack Hulland  107  30
     Johnson Elementary  107  52
     Khàtìnas.àxh  122  44
     Kluane Lake  92  67
     Nelnah Bessie John  74  15
     Porter Creek  67  26
     Robert Service  74  33
     Ross River  152  74
     Selkirk  100  37
     St. Elias Community  111  59
     Takhini  81  30
     Tantalus  85  44
     Teen Parent Centre  230  230
     Vanier  163  26
     Watson Lake  74  41
     Whitehorse Elementary  96  30
     Wood Street Centre  141  41

     


  3. Previous radon testing

    In 2016–17 we found that radon levels were above or near Health Canada's recommended levels at:

    • Jack Hulland Elementary;
    • Nelnah Bessie John;
    • Holy Family Elementary; and
    • the Teen Parent Centre.

    Remediation work has now been completed at these schools. We’ll re-test radon levels during the 2019–20 heating season.


Contact 

For questions, email contact.education@gov.yk.ca or phone 867-667-5141 or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5141.