North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
News Item

Radon testing results

September 19, 2018


Dear Staff, Students and Parents/Guardians:

Subject: Radon testing results          

From January to April of this year, the North Vancouver School District worked in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health to screen for radon in all of our schools. We are pleased to advise our school district community that test results in all schools were below the Canadian guideline for radon levels. Radon is a naturally occurring, colourless and odourless radioactive gas that is produced by the decay of uranium found in rock, soil or water. Radon can gather in buildings and long-term exposure can have health consequences. While there was no evidence that radon might be a problem in the North Vancouver School District, we proactively tested all schools as part of our ongoing commitment to the health and safety of students and staff.

Screening is now complete and the test results can be found below. The results for all schools are below the Canadian guideline of 200 Bq/m3. In one school, screening identified concentrations in some areas above the World Health Organization suggested action level of 100 Bq/m3. While the levels are still well below the Canadian guideline, additional detailed testing will now be conducted to assess variations in radon concentrations over the days, nights and weekends. It is possible that radon concentrations are below 100 Bq/m3 during the daytime when the school is in use because the ventilation system is running at these times. The school district will be engaging certified professionals to conduct this additional testing over the next few months, and the results will be shared with parents when they are available. The continued use of these areas in the school, while further testing is being planned, is not a health concern.

Vancouver Coastal Health continues to encourage families to test their homes for radon because children and adults spend most of their time at home. A child's classroom exposure represents a small portion of their overall potential radon exposure. Over a calendar year, children spend approximately 15 per cent of their time in their schools, and 60-75 per cent of their time in their homes. Testing should be done during the winter. Please refer to this fact sheet for more information on this screening initiative and how you can test your home for radon.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Charlene Wood, Senior Environmental Health Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health (604.983.6797 or Charlene.Wood@vch.ca), or Deneka Michaud, Communications Manager for the North Vancouver School District (604.903.1254 or dmichaud@sd44.ca).

Sincerely,

Dr. Mark Lysyshyn                                                      Mr. Mark Pearmain                                                

Medical Health Officer                                                Superintendent of Schools

Vancouver Coastal Health                                          North Vancouver School District




Table 1. Radon school screening results for North Vancouver schools

School # of  test devices# (%) of results below 100 Bq/m3# (%) of results above or equal to 100 Bq/m3 but below 200 Bq/m3# (%) of results above or equal to 200 Bq/m3 but below 600 Bq/m3# (%) of results above or equal to 600 Bq/m3
Argyle Secondary 3535 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Blueridge Elementary 1919 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Boundary Elementary 1616 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Braemar Elementary1414 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Brooksbank Elementary2525 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Canyon Heights Elementary1212 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Capilano Elementary129 (75%)3 (25%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Carisbrooke Elementary 1515 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Carson Graham Secondary2323 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Cleveland Elementary 1616 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Cove Cliff Elementary 1919 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Dorothy Lynas Elementary 3434 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Eastview Elementary2121 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Handsworth Secondary 3131 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Highlands Elementary 1818 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Larson Elementary1818 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Lynn Valley Elementary1414 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Lynnmour Elementary 2020 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Montroyal Elementary1111 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Mountainside Secondary 1313 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Norgate Elementary1515 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Queen Mary Elementary55 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Queensbury Elementary1313 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Ridgeway Elementary1717 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Ross Road Elementary2323 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Seycove Secondary3232 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Seymour Heights Elementary 1919 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Sherwood Park Elementary 1616 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Sutherland Secondary2222 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Upper Lynn Elementary1313 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Westview Elementary1212 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)
Windsor Secondary2323 (100%)0 (0%)0 (0%)0 (0%)