CR3 News Magazine 2017 VOL 4: SEPTEMBER Radon Resolutions - Page 18

Radon Environmental will participate in Boston’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo convention this November, and that’ll give Whitehead the chance to stress again how prevalent the gas is in the Northeast. He’s encouraged that more and more U.S. states are opting for stringent radon testing and prevention measures for new and existing construction.

In Canada, he also gets out the word through his role as a founding member and president of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) and with the help of such celebrities as Mike Holmes, whose TV show “Holmes Inspection” advises Canadians about renovation issues. Then there’s Whitehead’s role as a director of Cancer Survivors Against Radon (CanSAR), to which he has a very personal connection.

Hits close to home

When his family lived in Ottawa during the 1990s, Whitehead’s wife, Janet, ran an interior design business in their three-floor home. In 2011, long after the Whiteheads moved to British Columbia, Janet—a never-smoker—was diagnosed with lung cancer that forced the partial removal of her left lung and removal of tumors in her right lobes.

Vividly detailing her illness on Radon Environmental’s website, Janet says the radon level in the Ottawa house was 85 picocuries or 20 times the EPA action guideline in the U.S.

“I now worry about my husband and three children who were also exposed to this lethally high level of radiation, and I would encourage everyone to test their homes, schools and workplaces for radon,” she writes. “Lung cancer kills more people in North America than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. Radon-induced lung cancer is totally preventable.”

Reminded again of the radon risk in Canada’s capital region, the Whiteheads sent the occupants of their former house a radon detector that initially was thought to be faulty since the reading was so high. Subsequent tests by a radon professional validated the high levels, and—at the Whiteheads’ urging—the occupants hired a contractor to mitigate the problem and consulted with their doctor.

To Alan Whitehead, it was one potentially troublesome situation solved, but with many, many more to go.

COIRA founders (l-r) Jim McLaughlin of ERA, Martin Freeman of UKRA, Alan Whitehead of CARST & Shawn Price of AARST

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