Implementation of a radon measurement protocol and its communication plan by child care centre managers in Québec

Fabien Gagnon, Patrick Poulin, Jean-Marc Leclerc, Jean-Claude Dessau, Aryan Abab, Pamela Arsenault, Fady El-Turaby, Guillaume Lachance-Paquette, Félix-Antoine Vézina

Abstract


OBJECTIVES: To invite and support managers of child care centres to measure radon concentrations in their buildings. Their ability to carry out a measurement protocol and communication plan was also evaluated as well as the intention of parents and educators to test for radon at home.

PARTICIPANTS: Managers, parents and educators of child care centres.

SETTING: 36 child care centres located in two priority investigation areas in Québec.

INTERVENTION: A kit containing radon detectors with installation and recovery instructions was shipped by mail in addition to factsheets intended for parents and educators. Site visits and phone calls were also conducted with a sample of child care centres and participants.

OUTCOMES: The instructions related to detector installation were generally well respected. Afterward, more than half (18) of the 34 parents and educators interviewed said that they had been directly informed of this radon testing by managers or other educators, and not by the factsheet provided. This radon measurement intervention was considered very relevant by 91% of them and a quarter (26%) expressed their intention to test for radon at home, while 6% had already done so. Two child care centres (5.5%) had at least one measurement above the Canadian guideline level of 200 Bq/m3.

CONCLUSION: This intervention has demonstrated the ability of child care centre managers to carry out this type of autonomous procedure, which can be centralized to minimize costs. This type of intervention may influence parents to become more familiar with this contaminant and measure their family’s exposure at home.


Keywords


Child care centres; radon testing; Québec; perception

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.107.5339