Reducing Exposure to Radon in Canada
Radon gas is a known carcinogen that exists in our homes and is linked with 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada. While the US and many European governments have mature radon policies to protect their citizenry, the problem of radon in Canada is a new challenge that the federal government took on in earnest in 2007 by forming a committee to update radon policies.
A lot has happened since, the highlights of which include:
- Development of radon guidelines including lowering the action level (radon level at which remediation is recommended) from 800Bq/m3 to 200 Bq/m3
- Development of testing standards by Health Canada and Natural Resource Canada
- Development of certification program for radon professionals through the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP)
- National Radon Action Month (November)
- Updating the National Building Code with stipulations for radon-resistant building
Great progress by any measure. The radon message is just starting to get to the public and there is still a huge opportunity to continue to reduce the risk of radon in Canada.
One of the most asked question by the Canadian public has been whether there are any reimbursements for radon mitigation/remediation. This seems to be such a common-sense step akin to the tax credits that were offered for energy efficiency.
This has led to calls for the federal government to amend Division E of the Income Tax Act to provision a tax credit of up to $3,000 for radon remediation. The Green Budget Coalition are the latest organization to be vocal about this in the past few weeks as the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, was canvassing the country for pre-budget consultations.
They believe that providing a tax credit for radon remediation will come at no cost since the federal government will offset lost income tax revenues by an increase in tax revenues from economic activities related to radon remediation. Other benefits they have pointed out include:
- A healthy Canadian public due to reduced radon exposure
- Preventing lung cancer deaths will save the $17 million per year in healthcare costs
- Increased awareness of radon in Canada
If you would like to support this proposal, please contact your federal Member of Parliament (MP) to encourage them to support the recommendation of offering a radon mitigation tax credit.
Find the email address of your local MP.