In Canada, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer.
November is Radon Action Month, and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is gearing up to raise awareness about the dangers of radon gas
exposure. Radon is an odourless and colourless radioactive gas that contributes to over 3,200 Canadian deaths annually.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is released from the ground. When it escapes into outdoor air, the concentrations are low. But radon can also get into our homes where they are in contact with the soil. In some homes, radon can build to levels that are unsafe for health. Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon can lead to the development of lung cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and greatly increases the risk of lung cancer for people who smoke.
“It’s important to know your home’s radon level and it’s easy to do! Simply visit your local hardware store to purchase a test kit and then leave it in place for 91 days or more,” said Sue Shikaze, Health Promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Testing is an important step towards protecting the health of your family. Winter is a good time to test because we keep our doors and windows closed, so you can get an accurate measure of indoor radon levels.”
The only way to know what the radon levels are in your home is to do a test. It doesn’t matter whether your home is old or new, small, or large, or what the levels are in your neighbour’s home. The Government of Canada recommends that anyone whose home has radon levels more than 200 Bq/m3 (becquerels per cubic meter) take action to lower their radon level.
Before doing a full radon test, a preliminary test can be done using a digital radon monitor. Public libraries in Haliburton County and Trent Hills are participating in a national program that provides monitors for loan. All you need is your library card to borrow one.
Radon Action Month is an important reminder that action today will protect health in the future. Testing your home is an important first step to creating a healthier living environment for your family. For more information and resources on radon, visit takeactiononradon.ca