Health Canada is warning homeowners about the risk of radon, the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. All homes have some level of radon, the question is how much. In fact, based on current housing stock statistics and Health Canada’s research, close to a million homes have high radon levels in the country.
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from uranium in the ground and can get into your home undetected through cracks and gaps in the floors, walls, windows and doors. Radon represents almost 50 per cent of a person’s lifetime radiation exposure and results in more than 3,200 deaths in Canada every year.
Although public awareness of radon is growing, few people have actually tested their home for it. Recent research shows that despite over half of Canadians saying they know about radon, less than 10 per cent have done anything about it. Of those who tested their home and found high levels, only 29 per cent did something to reduce it, even though it increases their risk of lung cancer.
Fortunately, radon is one health risk that is easily preventable. Since you can’t see, smell or taste it, the only way to know if radon has reached dangerous levels in your home is to test for it.
Testing your home is easy. You can purchase an inexpensive test kit or contact a certified professional to help you check the levels in your home. If your home’s radon level is high, it can be fixed at a reasonable cost.
Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. A radon mitigation system can be installed in less than a day and in most homes will reduce the radon level by up to 90 per cent for about the same cost as other common home repairs such as replacing the furnace or air conditioner.
You can keep you and your family safe by testing the radon level in your home. Find a DIY test kit or professional at takeactiononradon.ca.