Ottawa – Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary of Health and Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Brampton South recently announced the federal government’s support for the first annual National Radon Action Month.
“This is an opportunity to educate Canadians about a significant, but relatively unknown, health risk that may exist in their homes,” said Adams. “Our government is encouraging everyone to conduct a simple test to measure the radon level in their home and to take steps to reduce the level if necessary.”
Health Canada estimates that 16 per cent of lung cancer deaths among Canadians are attributable to indoor radon exposure, making radon gas the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas in the ground that can’t be seen, smelled or tasted. It can get into the home undetected through cracks in the foundation or gaps around pipes. The only way to measure the radon level in the home is to take a simple and inexpensive test, which can be purchased at many hardware stores and local community health organizations.
Health Canada recommends testing for a minimum of three months starting in the fall, when windows and doors typically remain closed.
If the radon level is found to exceed the Canadian guideline of 200 becquerels per cubic meter, then it can be reduced at a reasonable cost. Homeowners can visit Health Canada’s website for information on the steps they can take to reduce radon levels in their home or visit www.takeactiononradon.ca.