UPDATE 4: At the end of April 2020 (during the lockdown phase of the pandemic, the Village hired Paul Muntak to install the pipe & fan. One shelf unit of non-fiction books was removed to accommodate this. Then a soundproof case was installed that muffled the hum of the fan. Shortly after that we saw our first reading below 200 Bq/m3. It went down to 52 Bq/m3. At the start of December, the readings remain in the healthy range. On Dec 1st, it was 63 Bq/m3. We are grateful that the Village followed through on this project to create a safe space for library staff to work in.
UPDATE 3: A 3-part plan was worked out with the Village for an in-house radon solution that included putting positive pressure on the air circulation system (completed January 25, 2019), installing a pipe & fan to remove radon from the building (quotes are in for this project – a date needs to be set in 2020), and conducting another formal test to see if these strategies worked. The long term average during the winter of 2019-20 is 371 Bq/m3, so we expect that remediation will be successful at lowering the value to a healthy level below 200 Bq/m3 as recommended by Health Canada.
UPDATE 2: The Village conducted a second test for 3 months in 2018 to include the upper floors (since they were moving back into the newly renovated building), but the values were incorrect due to the air circulation system not functioning properly at the time. In November 2018, a 2-part plan was worked out with the Village for an in-house radon solution that included putting positive pressure on the air circulation system (completed January 25, 2019) and then installing a pipe to remove radon from the building (planned for after February 25). At the time of this writing, the long term average reading is 263 Bq/m3 using an AirThings home-testing device. After this 2-part plan is implemented, the Village will have another round of formal testing completed to see if the in-house solution worked.
UPDATE 1: A full radon test on all floors of City Hall started on December 19, 2017. It will run for the recommended 3 months to gather accurate results. Mitigation recommendations will follow.
The Village hired Paul Muntuk from Interior Radium Pro Services to test the Kaslo library space for radon from February 2 to March 6 of 2017 . On April 4, the Board received the results and a recommendation to cease operations by the Village. The average radon concentration in 8 locations ranged from 311-359 Bq/m3. For values between 200-600 Bq/m3, Health Canada advises to take remedial action within 2 years. Health Canada also recommends radon testing for at least 3 months during winter for accurate results.
Library users and volunteers do not spend enough hours in the library for these radon levels to pose a health risk. Steps may be taken to reduce risk for staff who receive a radon dosage that is above the recommended maximum of 1 mSv per year by improving ventilation. The board is actively seeking solutions to implement. Please read the following documents and explore the links for more information about radon in the library and radon in general. Check back for updates.
The Village of Kaslo as owner will be in charge of permanent mitigation steps. Unfortunately the renovation of the upper stories prevent such steps being reasonably and properly planned and undertaken until completion next year. The Library as tenant will be undertaking all reasonable steps to mitigate the radon during this year. An openable window has been installed in the office, further natural ventilation will be studied, as will an air to air heat exchanger for winter ventilation, utilizing the present HVAC system to increase air exchange. The library and the Village will be cooperating during temporary and permanent mitigation undertakings.
Informative websites and reports
Radon aware (BC Lung Association)