Portage la Prairie Regional Library, led by Director Jen Kendall, is teaming up with Take Action on Radon and Manitoba Lung to raise awareness about dangers of the gas. Residents are invited to join the "100 Radon Test Kit Challenge," offering free kits to assess home radon levels.
Two info sessions take place Tuesday and Wednesday this week and will cover radon's health effects and provide test kits. With only 100 kits available, residents are urged to sign up early through the provided link.
"After learning about this program, I thought it was a great opportunity to help families test their homes for radon for free," Kendall shares. "We're all spending more time at home now as winter approaches, so it's an important step for families to take to reduce their radon levels. With only 100 test kits available, we encourage people to sign up ahead of time. The free radon information sessions will be held on Tuesday, November 14th at 11 a.m. in person at the library. The other one being held on Wednesday, November 15th, 7:00 p.m. and that one is on Zoom."
Kendall stresses the importance of addressing this issue, particularly with Manitoba's high levels.
"Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers in Canada," Kendall explains. "It also greatly increases the risk for smokers of developing lung cancer. It's a natural byproduct of uranium breakdown. It occurs throughout Canada. We have a high concentration in Manitoba, but this program specifically will get to develop a community radon profile, showing us how our levels are in our specific area."
Residents can pick up test kits during the info sessions or the week after. Kendall encourages participation, emphasizing the opportunity to proactively reduce exposure. Check the library's social media or contact them for details.