Thompson-Nicola Regional Library, date unknown. Photo credit: TNRL

Free radon home testing kits available through local libraries

Kits can be borrowed from branches of the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library

Local libraries throughout the TNRD now have a free tool available that can be borrowed to assess a potential health hazard in your home.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) has made radon detector kits available to borrow from all library facilities in the region. Radon is a radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. It can easily enter homes undetected through cracks and gaps in the floors, walls, windows, and doors. You cannot see it, smell it, or taste it.

Radon is the number-one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, leading to the deaths of more than 3,200 Canadians each year.

All homes and buildings have some level of radon. In fact, every region in Canada has homes with elevated radon levels, while many Canadians are unaware of the risks that radon can pose to their health. It is not a question of “if” you have radon in your house; you do. The question is how much, and the only way to know is to test.

Due to cold weather and complying with COVID-19 public health measures, many people are spending more time indoors, so Health Canada is encouraging Canadians to test their homes for radon. The TNRL has now stepped in to allow residents to make this test, with Corentium Home digital radon detector kits that can be borrowed at no charge by any TNRL patron in good standing. Because of high demand, the kits can only be loaned for seven days at a time.

Anyone borrowing a kit can take it home and follow the instructions in the kit to activate the detector. After that, simply leave the device in one spot on the lowest level of your home; then, after a few days, take note of the radon levels. In order to protect privacy, users should be sure to reset the detector before returning the kit to their local TNRL branch.

The radon detector kits will not be available to borrow from the TNRL between May 1 and Aug. 31 each year. Radon readings are less accurate during the summer months, when people tend to leave windows and doors open at home, allowing radon to safely dissipate into the atmosphere.

TNRL Chief Librarian Judy Moore says that the Radon Detector Kit program is one many devices and kits — including the Budding Birder Backpack and the Thermal Imaging Camera Kit — that can be borrowed for free by TNRL patrons. “We encourage all residents of the Thompson-Nicola region to visit their local library and the TNRL website, and learn about products available to them.”

For more information on the new Radon Detector Kit program, and other kits that are available, go to For more information and resources about radon, visit

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Thompson Nicola Regional District