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Radon Detector Loan Program

Are you concerned about radon levels in your home? We can help.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can become a health risk if it accumulates in our homes. Exposure to radon can result in an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. The only way to know if your home has radon is to test for it.

Allard Library has five radon detectors that members can borrow for three weeks. Our radon kits come with a digital radon detector and a booklet about radon.

The booklet contains information about how the device works. It is easy to set up. Once you take a detector home, you press the reset button on the back to start the device and you place it in a spot where you spend time, like in a bedroom or living room. After three weeks, record the information you see on the device, including the start and end dates and the long-term average level of radon. If the average level of radon you see is above a certain number, there are additional steps you can take and these are outlined in the booklet.

Once you’re finished, return the radon kit to the library. Please return it directly to the front desk at either branch and do not leave it in our outdoor return bins. And you’re done!

This program was made possible with support from the Manitoba Lung Association.


How do I borrow a radon kit?
You can place a hold on a radon kit when you’re using our online catalogue. You can also contact either branch and we can place a hold on the kit for you. We’ll let you know when it’s ready for pickup.

How long can I keep the radon kit?
Three weeks. It is recommended that you test for radon for at least seven days and preferably for a longer period, so you may keep the detector for three weeks.

Can I renew the loan for a longer period?
No, the loan is non-renewable.

Is there a fine for returning the kit late?
Yes, $1 per day.

Is it easy to use the radon detector?
Yes. Once you get it home, gently press the reset button on the back of the device. The device will say CAL and count down and you will see flashing dashes for up to 24 hours before any numbers appear. Place the radon detector in a room that you use often, like a living room or bedroom (preferably on the lowest level of your home). Leave the detector undisturbed for as long as possible. When you’re done, record the following information so you can refer back to it later – the start and end dates of testing and the long-term average reading.

Can I test at any time of year?
The radon detector should be used during the heating season when you keep your windows closed. If you open your windows in the summer, the radon test will not be as accurate.

Where should I place the radon detector?
Radon detectors should be placed in rooms at the lowest level of the home where you and your family spend lots of time. Place the detector on a bookshelf or end table where it won’t get damaged. Don’t put it near a window, door, or air vent, and keep it out of direct sunlight and water vapour, as these can all affect the readings.

How do I interpret the results from my device?
The reading on your device is a snapshot of the radon levels in your home. The numbers on the display are readings of radioactivity in the air, measured in Bequerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). The long term average displayed is calculated over the full time the device has been in use since it was last reset. The short-term average is the average per day, up to a week. The average is used because the levels can vary substantially over the day.

If your daily average result exceeds 200 Bq/m3, it is recommended that you take steps to reduce your exposure. There are steps you can take to lower radon levels and there are certified professionals you can contact that will help – see more detail in the information booklet in the radon kit.

What is the Health Canada voluntary survey?
When you have finished testing, you can complete a voluntary anonymous Health Canada survey.

How do I return the radon kit to the library?
Please return the radon kit directly to the front desk at either of our library branches and do not leave it in our outdoor after-hours return bins. If you’re not able to return it during the hours we are open, please contact us.

Where do I buy a long-term radon test kit?
If you do not want to wait to borrow a free radon detector kit from the library or if you borrowed the kit and you’re still concerned about radon because your long-term average reading was concerning to you, you can purchase a long-term test kit. Take Action on Radon has a list of several providers on their website.