Good Science in Plain Language

Invitation to the First Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Message from Hon Steven W Mahoney, President and CEO of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Brett Wilson of Dragons Den fame, calls himself a “Graduate” of the fight with cancer, not just a “Survivor”. Either way it is an apt description of the most difficult battle any of us can ever face. My personal experience with cancer has taught me that everyone is affected, either directly or indirectly through a friend or a loved one with the scourge of our times. Having joined Brett as a “Graduate” and proud to also say I am a “Survivor”, I am asking for your help. The statistics say cancer will hit one in three. Yet we have the best science, dedicated professionals and money available to defeat this disease. Clearly, however, that is not enough. The people and organizations working on a cure need our help.


We at THE RADIATION SAFETY INSTITUTE OF CANADA are dedicated to the “PREVENTION” of cancer and other occupational disease and I am personally committed to helping The Canadian Cancer Society find a “CURE” for cancer.  I hope you will join me.


Below please find a link to the information to register at the first annual Radiation Safety Golf Tournament, with the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. Joining me as Co-Chair is Dr. Iggy Kaneff. The date is September 11th at Iggy’s famed Lionhead Golf and Country Club.


Please join us on September 11, 2013  for a great day on the links. Donate a prize or sponsor part of the event.





CNSC update session on EDO certification revision

Industrial radiographers use nuclear tools to create images of materials, typically for the purposes of inspection. It is a form of non-destructive testing. Workers must be certified, or be a trainee under constant supervision of a certified operator, in order to use an exposure device. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Committee (CNSC), along with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), are currently working to review, update, and revise the national certification program for exposure device operators (EDO). An update on the revision process was given at a meeting between the CNSC and the industrial radiography industry on May 7 in Leduc, Alberta. A second meeting of the same nature is being held in Ottawa, Ontario on May 22. For more information or to register for this meeting, please contact Michele Armitage at 613-993-7973 or at Registrations will be taken up until Friday, May 17. Additional information on EDO certification and the certification review is available on the CNSC website and the CSA website.

Join us at Partners in Prevention Conference and Tradeshow 2013

RSIC at the CNA 2013 Conference

Partners in Prevention 2013 Trade Show and Conference will take place on  April 30  at the International Center in Mississauga, Ontario.

We are happy to be a part of this very important Health and Safety Event.

The Institute invites all its friends, clients, graduates and partners to take advantage of the Complimentary Conference Passes and join us at the event.

Follow the link below to access complimentary passes. Download and save PDF file. Fill in and send the form to register.

Complimentary Conference Pass Download


Job Opportunity: Med-Scan Nuclear Medicine Division

Senior Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Maternity Leave (starting May 2013)
Temporary Full-time

Your current, valid certificate of registration with the CMRTO is complemented by minimum 2 years full-time Nuclear Medicine experience, and successful completion of the RSO training course. Current registration with OAMRS, First Aid/CPR, and TDG certification required. Familiarity with GE Infinia camera and Xeleris system advantageous. Applicants interested in joining the friendly staff at Med-Scan imaging facility may send or fax their resume to:

Med-Scan Nuclear Medicine Division
2810 MajorMacKenzie Drive, Unit 22B
Maple, ON, L6A 1R8

Tel: 905-832-8984 Fax: 905-832-0645

November – Lung Cancer Awareness Month

It is a normal reaction to try and avoid danger when we see it. When faced with a hazardous object it is reasonable to stay away from it or, if possible, to remove it. When we smell smoke, we know to check for a fire and call for help. But what if the threat is not so easily detectable? What if it is present in our everyday lives and we cannot see it, smell it or taste it? This is exactly the kind of hazard that radioactive radon gas is . While undetectable by human senses, it presents a very real danger, in fact, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Radon monitors analyzed by scientists at the Institute’s National Laboratories

How do we get exposed to radon? Produced in the ground it escapes through porous soils and fissures in the rock of the earth’s crust. Once released into the atmosphere, radon gas is diluted by air so its concentration is very low in the outdoors. However radon can seep into buildings through cracks in the foundation, through openings around drain pipes and sump pumps and through any other unsealed openings. When it enters a confined or enclosed space such as a basement, it can build to concentrations that are hazardous to human health.



Radon gas breaks down further to form other radioactive particles called radon daughters or “progeny”. These particles attach themselves to dust particles in the air and can be inhaled and lodged in the lungs. The radon daughters emit a form of radiation known as alpha particles. The alpha particles deposit their energy in the lungs and can cause long term damage, in particular lung cancer. Not everyone exposed to radon will develop lung cancer but long-term exposure, specially for smokers, to elevated levels of radon in the home increases your risk of developing the disease. The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test.

Since indoor radon concentrations tend to be higher in the fall/winter period and can significantly vary from day to day, Health Canada recommends 90 day testing during the heating season. Indoor radon concentrations are measured in units of radioactivity known as becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). If the average concentration in a home is greater than 200 Bq/m3, then Health Canada advises taking remedial actions to reduce the concentration. The higher the radon concentration the sooner action should be taken. Remediation is fairly simple and inexpensive, the cost may vary from $500 to $3000.

For over a decade the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada has carried out its National Radon Monitoring Program. The Program is run by our National Laboratories located in Saskatoon, where certified radon specialists will take your radon orders, ship out the monitors, analyse test results, communicate them to you and, most importantly, answer any and all questions you may have about radon exposure. The total cost of the order and laboratory analysis is only $55 plus tax.

Your piece of mind and your health are worth the investment. We urge you to not put it off and order your radon test kit today!


The Radiation Safety Institute of Canada is Proud to Announce the Appointment of the New President and CEO

Tim Armstrong, Chair of the Board of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Hon. Steven Mahoney, P.C., as President and CEO of the Institute. He succeeds Dr. Fergal Nolan, who recently retired after having successfully led the Institute with dedication for almost 30 years.

Mr. Mahoney has just completed a six-year term as Chair of Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. His previous distinguished public service career includes serving as Member of Parliament (1997-2005) with Ministerial responsibilities for Crown Corporations, Member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament (1987-1995) where he chaired the Provincial Finance Committee, and City and Regional Councillor for Mississauga (1978-1987).

Mr. Mahoney’s dedication to public service, passion for workplace safety, and proven track record of success in pursuit of the prevention agenda will greatly benefit the advancement of the Institute’s mission focused on promotion of radiation safety in the workplace, the environment, and the community at large. The Board of Governors and  staff are happy to welcome Mr. Mahoney as the new President and CEO and are proud to have him join the Institute’s team.  The President’s 3-year term will commence on Monday, September 10, 2012.

Lung Cancer Deaths from Radon Gas in Canadian Homes and Buildings Higher Than Expected

Health Canada scientists have found that many more homes than expected from previous surveys have radon levels above Canadian public health guidelines. This conclusion was reached on the basis of radon tests conducted in some 14,000 homes and buildings across Canada.

Having analyzed the test findings, Health Canada scientists have concluded that about 7% of homes and buildings across Canada have high radon gas levels. They have also concluded that approximately 16% of all lung cancer deaths in Canada can be attributed to radon in homes and buildings, irrespective of lung cancers from smoking. These estimates are higher than previous Health Canada estimates. The Radiation Safety Institute of Canada has commented on this matter, applauding Health Canada for the new rigor it has shown on the radon issue since it finally lowered the radon exposure guidelines in 2006.


July 27, 2012 – IAEA Fukushima Daiichi Status Report

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued its STATUS REPORT to the public on the current status of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, including information on environmental radiation monitoring, the status of workers, and current conditions on-site at the plant.

Dr. Fergal Nolan awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

Dr. Fergal Nolan, President and CEO of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada, has been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by His Excellency, the Rt. Hon. David Johnson, Governor General of Canada.

The award recognizes Dr Nolan’s exceptional contribution to protecting Canadians from excessive exposure to radiation in workplaces and communities across Canada.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals were established to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne. They are awarded to recognize and celebrate significant achievements and extraordinary contributions Canadians have made for the benefit of their fellow citizens and their country. The award was presented on July 9, 2012.

Breaking News – Board Chair Announces Retirement of Long Time President & CEO, Dr. Fergal Nolan

June 28, 2012

The Radiation Safety Institute of Canada’s Board of Governors Chair, Mr. Tim Armstrong, has announced the RETIREMENT of long-time President and CEO, Dr. Fergal Nolan.


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Questions about Radiation?

Free Radiation Safety Inquiry Service answering questions about radiation.




Gemstones are sometimes put through a nuclear reactor or accelerator because the high levels of ionizing radiation change the structure of gemstones resulting in fully saturated body colours.

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We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know!

Know more about this natural risk,
test your homes,put your feet up,
relax, and watch that latest Netflix movie.

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Radiation and Prevention of Occupational Cancers – Every Effort Counts

What we want to keep in focus are potential risks posed by radiation in a typical Canadian workplace. According to the International Labour Organization an estimated 609,000 work-related cancer deaths occur worldwide each year, it still amounts to one work-related cancer death every 52 seconds.

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