Local governments in BC are constrained in what they can do. As ‘creatures of statute’ they can only act where the law permits. We have researched what powers local goverments have in B to address radon.
BC has provisions for new construction in the BC Building Code, 2018, but there are still many gaps in coverage. Local governments can adopt policies, pass bylaws and and offer subsidies and incentives that will help reduce radon exposure.
Municipalities can begin by promoting awareness on websites, conducting Community Testing Initiatives to learn radon prevalence in their area, ensure local libraries have radon detectors and subsidize low cost radon test kits. They can test their own buildings and social housing.
There are ample opportunities to address radon in Standards of Maintenance Bylaws and business bylaws. Energy retrofits can increase radon levels and efficiency programs need to be coupled with radon action.
In the 1990s, many BC municipalities introduced new bylaws on smoking, and addressing radon is the next logical step in protecting lung health.