Radon Gas Accredited Webinar a Hit With REALTORS®, August and September Registration Open

Jul 30, 2020



By Ellen Baragon, Guest Contributor

How many Canadians realize that unsafe radon gas exposure commonly found in some homes is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, or that 3,360 Canadians died last year as a result? The spectre of radon gas exposure in homes has been a longstanding but little known health care hazard to many homeowners in several regions of BC and Canada. Radon gas contamination is serious, but the good news is that not only can its exposure be reduced and its affects mitigated to safe levels, Realtors are well positioned to provide leadership on the issue.

That has been one of the driving forces for the BC Lung Foundation (BC Lung) and BCREA to offer the webinar, Radon and Real Estate: Understanding New Developments for Practice in BC. The first two offerings of this webinar have been well received by Realtors who have benefited from a wealth of radon information, in addition to two accredited PDP hours. Only two more offerings remain, one in August, and another in September.

What should Realtors do about radon?

By educating homebuyers and sellers to this potentially deadly substance, Realtors can help to protect their clients from the hazards of radon as front line health home "ambassadors,” according to Dr. Noah Quastel, Director of Law and Policy for the BC Lung Foundation.

"The Realtor is in a really good position to teach people about what it is to make a home healthy and how they can save lives through educating people on the health aspects of a home," says Quastel, who is also the co-developer of the BC Lung's Healthy Indoor Environments program and collaborated with BCREA to create the new accredited webinar about radon gas for Realtors. "Radon is a good example where simply conveying information, Realtors can help save lives."

Working with BCREA, Quastel and other experts in the field of uranium and radon gas, along with health scientists, and real estate lawyers contributed to the course and related materials.

The implications of radon on real estate

Radioactive gas derives from uranium and occurs naturally in the soil in very small amounts. However, depending on several factors that have to do with location and the home structure itself, radon gas can gradually percolate up from the soil into houses, where it resides in the air that is breathed in by the occupants, without their knowledge.

The radon gas issue is so significant that in May this year radon gas was added to a section of the Property Disclosure Statement as a latent defect when its presence is above acceptable levels for human health.

“It was truly an eye opener,” says Realtor Shakun Khangiani of the radon webinar. “We have always known and talked only about asbestos. Learning now that radon is a greater health hazard than asbestos makes it critical for the general public, not just Realtors, to be made aware of its existence.”

Attendees will learn critical information about the health and science of radon, how to test and mitigate its dangers, the work of radon professionals, current law and policy, and the duties of real estate licensees.

Dr. Quastel is one of the facilitators of the Radon and Real Estate webinar, which also includes presentations from Dr. Anne-Marie Nicol, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and Chantal Wilson, professional mechanical engineer and owner of Little Bear Engineering in Revelstoke, BC.

Registration is open now for the two remaining two-hour sessions from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm on August 12, 2020 and September 23, 2020. The cost of the accredited webinar is $60. Space is limited and Realtors are encouraged to register now to reserve a spot.

(BCREA Access username and password required)

For more information about radon gas and real estate, check the BCREA Radon Gas FAQ document designed for Realtors to enhance their knowledge about radon gas.

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