Created in 2013, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in British Columbia, is a first of its kind Indigenous-led health service delivery organization that works closely with federal and provincial partners to integrate health programs for “healthy, self-determining, and vibrant BC First Nations children, families, and communities.” With radon awareness steadily growing in British Columbia, FNHA decided to begin testing on-reserve homes and has completed the second phase of a residential radon monitoring project to gather data and create awareness within its reserve communities. Currently there is little information available about the impact of radon on health for on-reserve populations but many high radon risk factors are present in the communities including poorer housing conditions.
400 test kits were deployed through this program with over half being deployed directly in FNHA’s Interior Region. Utilizing Radonova’s proprietary RadOnlinecustomer web portal (radonova.com/mypages), the project team achieved an astounding 92% response rate. Reported results indicate that over 10% of the homes tested have elevated radon levels above Health Canada’s guideline of 200 Bq/m³.
This testing project was conducted with assistance from the Public Health Agency of Canada through the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, with significant outreach performed by the Interior Health Authority’s Environmental Health Officer, Greg Baytalan, and truly made possible by the contributions of the First Nations communities and staff.