MONTREAL, JANUARY 31, 2012 – In a province-wide effort spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports (MELS), a radon detection program is being implemented in all elementary and secondary schools in the province. By July 1, 2014, all school boards are required to ensure that the interior air quality of their buildings meet the guidelines set forth by Health Canada.
The EMSB has begun its program and 15 buildings are on the list for 2012: Bancroft, Elementary in the Plateau, Coronation Elementary in Côte des Neiges, Edward Murphy Elementary in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Gerald McShane Elementary in Montreal North, John Caboto Academy and Our Lady of Pompei Elementary in Ahuntsic, LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, Laurier Macdonald High School and Pierre de Coubertin Elementary in St. Léonard, Leonardo da Vinci Academy in RDP, Options I and II and Venture Alternative High Schools in Ville Émard, Rosemount High School/Technology Centre, Royal Vale School and Shadd Business Centre in NDG and Westmount Park Elementary.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which results from the degradation of uranium, a natural substance which is present everywhere within the earth’s crust, but at different levels. It is important to note that the gas represents a health hazard when someone is continuously exposed to high concentrations of radon inside a building over several decades.
Although there is little risk that significant problems exist in Quebec schools, the Ministry of Health and Social Services recommends as a precaution, that radon concentrations be measured in the schools. In the case where a high level of radon is found, the EMSB will make the necessary corrections in order to conform to the Canadian guidelines.