News release

Province Invests in Radon Detectors and Encourages Testing

Nova Scotians deserve to have information that can help them make important decisions about their health and home. That is why the province is helping families protect themselves from the risks of radon by making it easier to test for the radioactive gas.

In partnership with the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, the province will invest $30,000 in the Radon Detector Library Loan Program. Under the program, people can borrow a device from their local library and get a radon level reading in their home.

“Our geoscientists play an important role in providing Nova Scotians with up-to-date information about our geology and areas that are at higher risk for radon and other hazards,” said Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. “This investment will make sure more people have the ability to protect themselves and their families.”

Radon is odourless, colourless and is linked to an increased risk of developing lung cancer. It forms naturally throughout the province and is released slowly by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, water and some building materials.

In some locations, the waiting list to borrow a detector is up to eight months. This investment is expected to cut the wait in half.


Radon exposure is the second leading risk factor for lung cancer behind smoking. It is important that homeowners know the level of radon in their home and the way to do this is to test. The library loan program makes it easier for Nova Scotians to do that. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health

We are thrilled about the success the Radon Detector Library Loan Program has achieved over the last two years. We’re grateful the province is investing in additional devices so that even more Nova Scotians can access this leading radon awareness program. Robert MacDonald, president and CEO, Lung Association of Nova Scotia

The program started in 2017 to an overwhelming response from our community, and interest has only continued to grow. The success of this program is thanks to a partnership between Halifax Public Libraries, the Nova Scotia Provincial Library and the Lung Association of Nova Scotia. With this investment, we’ll be able to shorten the wait time for community members who have requested to borrow a radon detector kit and allow us to further highlight the importance of testing homes for radon gas. Dave MacNeil, manager of access, Halifax Public Libraries

<p>“Thanks to this investment, Nova Scotia public libraries will be able to provide their communities greater access to radon detectors. We are pleased to support this initiative and to help raise awareness of the risks of radon through the Radon Detector Library Loan Program”. <span class="line">- Lynn Somers, director, Nova Scotia Provincial Library</p></span>

Quick Facts:

  • this investment will buy 100 more devices bringing the total number of detectors available at libraries across the province to more than 250
  • radon is believed to be responsible for killing more than 3,200 Canadians each year
  • four other provinces have radon detector programs based on Nova Scotia’s program
  • November is National Radon Action Month in Canada

Additional Resources:

For more information about radon, go to:

To see what areas of Nova Scotia are more likely to be exposed to radon in indoor air, go to the radon map:

To learn about the Radon Detector Library Loan Program, visit:

To order a radon detection kit, visit: