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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 223–228 | Cite as

Using Willingness to Pay to Evaluate the Implementation of Canada’s Residential Radon Exposure Guideline

  • Jerry M. SpiegelEmail author
  • Daniel Krewski
Article

Abstract

Background: The objective of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of Canada’s residential radon exposure guideline in influencing individuals’ health protection decisions.

Method: Homeowners with known exposure levels in a high residential radon area (Winnipeg, Manitoba) were surveyed to document what they had done and spent to reduce their exposure to radon. The 507 respondents were then re-surveyed to elucidate their response to hypothetical scenarios. Logistic regression was used to model risk reduction decisions as a function of exposure and other explanatory variables.

Results: Homeowners were only likely to have taken action to reduce exposure at levels exceeding 1,100 Bq/m3, well above Canada’s guideline of 800 Bq/m3. However, when informed of the guideline, respondents indicated they would act at exposures of 702 Bq/m3.

Interpretation: The Canadian residential radon exposure guideline, as it has been implemented, has not effectively prompted homeowner actions to reduce exposures to radon.

Résumé

Contexte: Cette enquête avait pour but de déterminer l’efficacité des directives d’exposition concernant le radon dans l’air intérieur des maisons au Canada dans les décisions individuelles en matière de protection de la santé.

Méthode: Les propriétaires de maisons situées dans une région à haute teneur de radon dans l’air des résidences (Winnipeg, au Manitoba) ont fait l’objet d’un sondage au sujet des mesures qu’ils ont prises pour réduire les niveaux d’exposition au radon et des montants dépensés à cet effet. Les 507 répondants ont été interrogés une deuxième fois pour expliquer leurs réponses à des scénarios hypothétiques. La régression logistique a été utilisée pour modéliser les décisions liées à la réduction du risque en fonction de l’exposition et d’autres variables explicatives.

Résultats: Les propriétaires de maisons les plus susceptibles d’avoir agi étaient ceux dont les teneurs en radon étaient supérieures à 1 100 Bq/m3, soit bien au delà de la directive canadienne de 800 Bq/m3. Cependant, après s’être familiarizés avec cette dernière, les répondants ont indiqué qu’ils agiraient désormais lorsque les teneurs atteindraient 700 Bq/m3.

Interprétation: Nos résultats laissent entendre que les directives d’exposition concernant le radon dans l’air intérieur des maisons au Canada, dans leur application actuelle, ne semblent pas inciter les propriétaires de maisons à réduire les teneurs en radon.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk AssessmentUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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