Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
I'd like to start by continuing the questioning from Ms. Moore regarding labelling of homes. As you say in your notes, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies radon in group 1, which means we know it's carcinogenic.
This is a question for everybody. Do you think houses should be labelled once they've been tested and that before and after remediation perhaps one could have a different label?
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Well, on labelling, if you've done a test, presumably the results of the test are there.
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
I just wanted to throw it out there.
Mr. Rankin had another question, which I want to ask in a different way. I'm wondering if anybody has thought about it from an economic point of view. If you had an extra dollar to spend, where would you help people the most? Would it be in spending it on reducing smoking or on reducing exposure to radon? Has anybody tried to figure out which one of those two will have a bigger effect on lung cancer? It's an economics question, so maybe it's too hard to calculate or something.
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Maybe I'll try another question. You mentioned that Health Canada has studied the effects of energy retrofits on radon. My question is about whether there's a synergy. We want to encourage energy retrofits for other reasons, and I'm wondering in terms of these two issues, energy efficiency and exposure to radon, whether there's some synergy in promoting both at the same time.
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
My first question is just to satisfy my curiosity a little bit. I'm trying to interpret one of the graphs that Ms. Henderson produced. It's the one where at the top of the page there are different numbers corresponding to becquerels. There's a jump in the graph for women for higher radon areas, from between 400 and 300. Is that just statistics?
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
The y axis of these graphs doesn't cross at zero. Presumably there's a whole bunch of lung cancer from smoking, and then on top of that you're seeing the effects—
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
Is this the only study that has picked out the difference between male and female trends in high radon regions over time?
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Okay.
I'm just curious, have all federal government buildings been tested? Does anybody know the answer to that?
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
You've proposed that we simply build out new residences and replace old residences as our priority strategy. May I assume that once you either build a new home to the correct specifications or remediate an old home, essentially for the life of that residence you don't have to...?
Your head is shaking, Ms. Nicol. When do you have to test again?
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Has any research been done following remediation for perhaps older homes? How valid is the measurement—
View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
How many years does it last?
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2015-06-16 16:13
Thank you, witnesses, for your presentations.
I can tell you that these statistics—80% more women die from lung cancer than from breast cancer and 200% more men die from lung cancer than from prostate cancer—were shocking to me. Those are shocking facts based on the publicity out there on breast and prostate cancers.
With regard to one of the key causes of lung cancer, smoking, how are we doing in Canada? I'm from Prince Edward Island and I see more young people smoking than I did a few years ago. I have no statistics or anything. I don't know. How are we actually doing especially in terms of young people smoking? One of the things I hear is that flavoured tobacco products are in fact potentially enticing youth to smoke. What's your view on that?
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2015-06-16 16:15
I think the reality is that if you can target young people and prevent them from starting to smoke, that's where the efforts have to be made. I look back to my own time in school, in high school, when if you didn't smoke, you were on the wrong side of societal favour. That's changed immensely, but I still see too much of it.
You're basically suggesting that we ban menthol and flavoured tobacco products, and I know they've moved on that in my province.
On early detection, you mentioned that there is a screening program in place in the United States. What has the experience been under that program? Do you have any idea of the cost? We have a public health care system here, so you have to look at the cost as an investment more than just as a cost. Can you comment on that?
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2015-06-16 16:19
Coming back to the early detection, what can be done both federally and provincially to enhance early detection? I hear too many stories. In fact, I was talking to a husband this morning whose wife had died and who had waited for a year before she could get into our hospital system. Would it have made a difference? We don't know.
What can be done to enhance the early detection, and operations if needed, in these kinds of matters from a policy perspective at the governmental level?
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2015-06-16 17:09
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you to all the witnesses on this panel.
I'd like to start with you, Dr. Ricard. Thank you for the reality check. You make a potent point, I think, on the need for funding for research and early detection methods. I can't help but think that in your occupation you would likely be one who would be getting regular checks. That is so different from many in society, who don't get regular checks.
From your experience, or from having gone through what you've gone through, is there anything that you think governments can do, or the health system can do, that would make a difference in earlier detection?
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