November is both National Radon Action Month and Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Sadly, it is estimated that 21,100 Canadians will die this year from lung cancer, and more than 3,000 of those deaths are because of exposure to radon indoors. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, after smoking.
Many Canadians may not be aware of what radon gas is, or know the risks that it can pose to their health. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas in the ground that can’t be seen, smelled or tasted. Almost all homes have some level of radon, which enters through cracks and gaps in floors and walls.
The best way to find out whether your home has elevated levels of radon is to conduct a test. You can purchase a simple and inexpensive do-it-yourself test kit at a hardware store or local community health organization. You can also hire a certified radon professional to conduct the test for you. If the radon level in your home is above the Government of Canada Radon Guideline, it can be remedied. Talk to a certified radon professional to determine the best and most cost-effective way to reduce the radon levels in your home.
Health Canada is working with partners to raise awareness and inform Canadians about the simple actions that can be taken to reduce their risk from radon exposure.
I strongly encourage Canadians to test their homes for radon and, if levels are high, to take action to protect yourself and your loved ones.
For more information on radon gas, please visit Health Canada’s website.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Take Action on Radon
Health Canada - Radon
Take Action on Radon - Infographic