Smoke detector, check. CO2 detector, check. Radon detector? You bet.
More than 450 homes in Port Hope, Ontario, are now equipped with RSSI's Alpha-track Radon Detector to test for low-level historic radioactive waste around local neighbourhoods. They will collect one month's worth of data.
The historic waste originated from radium and uranium refining operations of the former federal Crown Corporation, Eldorado Nuclear Limited, from the 1930s to the 1970s. It primarily involves contaminated soil.
According to the municipality, from 1975 to 1982, the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), now the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), on behalf of the Federal-Provincial Task Force on Radioactivity, carried out a cleanup of developed residential, public and commercial properties. Since then the LLRWMO has conducted further investigations, cleanups and consolidations.
The resulting cleanup has led to a project called the Port Hope Area Initiative.
Some 4,800 properties in Port Hope are expected to be surveyed for radon gas and gamma radiation levels over the next four years. At least 10 per cent are expected to need remediation work.
Come winter 2012, the selected Port Hope homes will again be tested for radon for a period of one month.
According to the municipality, more than 40 health studies have been done on the area. They have found that based on environmental and epidemiological studies conducted in Port Hope and the findings of research studies conducted in other countries, that no adverse health effects have occurred.
For more information about the Port Hope Area Initiative, please visit this page.