Get involved -protect your clients

Canadian Association
of Radon Scientists
and Technologists

Ontario Association
of Certified
Home Inspectors

 OntarioACHI Logo Transparent Large
  Working together to protect the public  

Periodically the Ontario Building Code is changed to incorporate changes that reflect current practices, new technologies and techniques and procedures that are designed to protect the public.

Acceptance of proposed changes to Ontario Building Code (OBC) are governed by consensus. 

Some Ontario Home Builders continue to lobby the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) to remove the proposed requirement to provide mandatory testing of new construction for radon. 

Ontarians need your help to protect their lives and health by ensuring radon testing is conducted in all new construction.

Sections 6.2.12.  and 9.33.4. of the 2012 OBC require the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all buildings with residential occupancy and fuel-burning appliances. This has been the case since 2001. Eleven (11) people, on average, in Ontario die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning (Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, 2016).   According to Public Health Ontario almost 850 lung cancer deaths each year in Ontario are attributable to radon (Ontario Public Health, 2016), yet mandatory radon testing for all buildings with residential occupancy is not in current OBC and Ontario Builders are against such testing.  Radon kills 77 times more people in Ontario every year than carbon monoxide. 

Both inhalable gases (i.e. carbon monoxide, radon) are colourless and odourless and both gases pose a risk to almost all Canadians.   Precedence has dictated building code requirement to protect 11 Ontarians annually from death due to toxic carbon monoxide so surely such protection is prudent to protect 850 Ontarians annually, and all future generations, from death due to radon induced lung cancer.

OntarioACHI have been working closely with CARST in developing models to allow for mandatory testing of Real-Estate as part of a transaction, and we believe this can be done in a time-frame that need not impact the sale time-frame.  Given that the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (TARION), where it applies,  already covers radon testing and mitigation measures, there is no valid reason the right to protection against the risk of radiation from radon infiltration in a home ought not to be extended across all construction and covered by the builders.   The TARION Warranty is not mandatory on all new builds and the reliance for testing of all new builds is currently left to the buyers.  Worse still, where TARION is not applied to a home, no financial protection against poor building practices, with regard soil gas exists.

Home Inspectors are frequently (and unfairly)  accused of not properly protecting consumers.   Now is a chance to show you care.   OntarioACHI and CARST are working closely together to provide training to ensure all our members can meet the requirement to become independent third party certified radon tester who meet Canadian standard for radon certification.

If you believe radon testing should be mandated in the OBC to protect the lives and health of people in Ontario, can you and any other concerned party please complete the MMAH response form.

You can find it here http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page14994.aspx  

The specific code change reference # is B-09-13-05.

We suggest that you click the “I would support the potential requirements with modifications (describe modifications below)“.  and in the box below write something similar to the text in italics below:

I support the requirement to test for radon in all buildings after construction is complete to ensure that current and future occupants are safe from radiation and radon induced lung cancer and that the builder has designed and constructed a building below 200 Becquerels per cubic meter of air (Bq/m³).
Suggested change: That radon testing be completed by an independent third party certified radon tester who has met Canadian standard for radon certification.