The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is recruiting participants for a radon survey of homes built after the year 2000 in Winnipeg.  They are looking for interested residents of a detached home, semi-detached home, or a townhouse to help them evaluate how effectively indoor radon exposures are reduced by the current radon control measures in the National Building Code of Canada. The survey will be conducted between December 2021 and April 2022.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are selected as a participant in this survey, you will receive the following from the NRC through standard mail:

  • A free long-term radon test kit
  • An individualized report providing the radon concentration measured in your home, and information about ways to reduce your exposure (if relevant)
  • A blind report summarizing the results of the survey and the main conclusions of the study

Your test kit will include a consent form and related information, instructions for placement of the radon test, and a pre-paid envelope for mailing it all back. Participants are asked to return the kits to the NRC after a measurement period of at least 91 days.

Note: If the radon concentration in your home is above the Canadian radon guideline value of 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), the mitigation costs to reduce the radon level in your home are not covered by this study or the NRC. Further, under the Residential Tenancies Act and Regulations in Manitoba, landlords are not required to monitor indoor radon or to mitigate should radon concentrations exceed the guideline value. Visit our website page on Reducing Radon for more information on how to reduce the radon levels in your home: Reducing Radon – Take Action on Radon.

 

Eligibility criteria

To participate in the study, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You are a resident living in a detached home, a semi-detached home, or a townhouse in Winnipeg
  • The home was built after the year 2000
  • You expect to reside at your current address until April 2022
  • Major renovations are not planned between November 2021 and April 2022
  • You agree to share your radon results and other information about your house with the NRC for the purposes of this study. Private contact information will not be shared or published.

  

How to participate

If you would like to participate in the study, please send an email to NRC.ResidentialRadon-RadonResidentiel.CNRC@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca with the following information:

Name:
Home address:
Mailing address (if different from home address):
Year your home was built:
Type of home (detached/semi-detached/townhome):
Preferred language (English/French):

Click here to send an e-mail.

About the study

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the second most important cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and contributes to about 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually in Canada. Radon is a colourless, odourless gas and so the only way to discover the radon level in your home is to conduct a test.

The 2010 and 2015 editions of the National Building Code of Canada recommend that radon control measures be included during the construction of new low-rise housing, based on the success of similar measures introduced in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

To reduce radon entry into the home, the code requires that a radon membrane be installed under the concrete slab during the construction of new homes. A capped pipe stub is to be extended through the slab and membrane into the gravel layer below so that radon underneath the home can be vented outdoors more easily should it be required in the future. These radon control measures were adopted into the mandatory provincial building code and became effective in Manitoba in April 2011.

This radon survey will include homes built in the decade before and the decade after the building code was changed in Manitoba. The comparison of these results will help the NRC’s Construction Research Centre estimate the effectiveness of the current radon provisions. As described above, a blind report summarizing the results of the survey and the main conclusions of the study will be mailed to each participant and will also be shared with the scientific community to help inform future research (all personal information will be kept confidential).

For more information, email the NRC’s Construction Research Centre team at: NRC.ResidentialRadon-RadonResidentiel.CNRC@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

sketch of house