The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) has won an international award for its course educating Alberta real estate professionals about radon in homes.
RECA worked with radon researcher Aaron Goodarzi of the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine to develop a module and test about radon for RECA’s 2019 Re-licensing Education Program. The course received the 2019 ARELLO Education Award, which recognizes outstanding systems and programs that contribute to the real estate industry, promote public protection and can be adapted across North America and beyond.
“Real estate professionals’ obligation to discuss radon with buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants means that every single Albertan buying, selling or leasing properties will become aware of the dangers of radon, how to take it into consideration in a purchase decision and how to test and mitigate radon,” says Joseph Fernandez, director of education programs at RECA. “Data provided by Dr. Goodarzi was timely.”
Researchers have found one in six Western Canadian homes exceed Health Canada’s acceptable radon levels, RECA says. The researchers launched Evict Radon, an awareness campaign partly funded by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF), that encourages people to test their homes for the gas while also gathering data for medical research.
“We were delighted that RECA had the foresight to engage with our team to build their course using scientific, peer-reviewed and Canadian context information on the science of radon,” says Goodarzi. “This has enabled them to offer the real estate community of Alberta a gold-standard in education on this topic that is, to my knowledge, unmatched in Canada.”
Radon, a known carcinogen, is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after smoking, says RECA. Scientists estimate that one Albertan per day is diagnosed with lung cancer caused by radon.
“We are happy to support Evict Radon,” says Jim Saunders, the chair of AREF’s Board of Governors. “And we are very pleased that by educating real estate professionals, the Evict Radon project is able to reach a broader audience and help educate more Albertans on how to ensure their home is healthy.”