Radon - What you need to know
What is radon?
- Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from uranium in the ground that can get into your home undetected. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it.
- All homes have some level of radon. The question is how much and the only way to know is to test.
- In confined spaces like a house, radon can build up to high levels and over time become a health risk.
- The current Canadian guideline for radon is 200 becquerels per cubic meter (200 Bq/m3).
What are health risks?
- Radon exposure is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. 16% of lung cancers are estimated to be from radon exposure, resulting more than 3,000 lung cancer deaths in Canada each year.
- People who smoke and are exposed to radon have an even higher risk of lung cancer.
- The health risk from radon is long-term not immediate. The longer you are exposed to high levels of radon, the greater your risk.
How do I test my home for radon?
- Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive.
- Testing can be done by purchasing a do-it-yourself radon test kit or by a measurement professional that is certified under the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP).
- Radon levels in a home can vary significantly over time so you need to do a long term test, for 3 months, ideally during the fall or winter time.
- Go to TakeActiononRadon.ca to find a test kit or certified professional.
My home tested above the 200 Bq/M3 limit, what now?
- Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. Radon levels can be reduced by more than 80% for about the same cost as other common home repairs such as replacing the furnace or air conditioner.
- The higher the radon level in your home, the sooner it needs to be fixed.
- Hire a certified radon mitigation professional to help you find the best way to reduce the radon level in your home. The most common radon reduction method is active soil depressurisation (ASD).
- Go to c-nrpp.ca to find a certified mitigation professional.
- Close to 10% of Canadian homes will have radon levels above the guideline, the only way to know is to test
For more information on radon, visit canada.ca/radon or www.takeactiononradon.ca
© His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Health, 2024
Cat.: H129-75/2024E (Print)
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