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Take Action on Radon – November is Radon Awareness Month

Take Action on Radon – November is Radon Awareness Month
November is Radon Awareness Month in Canada, and this is what you need to know to take action and protect your family. From Health Canada:

What is Radon? 

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When Radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like homes, it can accumulate to high levels and become a risk to the health of you and your family.

What are the 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 in 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 does Radon get into Canadian Homes? 

The air pressure inside your home is usually lower than in the soil surrounding the foundation. This difference in pressure draws air and other gases, including Radon, from the soil into your home.

Radon can enter a home any place it finds an opening where the house contacts the ground: the tiniest cracks in foundation floor and walls, construction joints, gaps around service pipes, support posts, window casements, floor drains, sumps or cavities inside walls.

Radon in Canada

Uranium is a common element found everywhere in the earth's crust; as a result, radon gas can be found in almost all homes in Canada. Concentrations differ greatly across the country but are usually higher in areas where there is a higher amount of uranium in underlying rock and soil.

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 wintertime. 
  • Go to to find a test kit or certified professional.
Radon concentration levels will vary from one house to another, even if they are similar designs and next door to each other. The only way to be sure of the radon level in your home is to test.