November is Radon Action Month. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. It is easy to measure the radon level in your home, workplace or school and easy to fix if you have a problem. Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. Radon levels in most homes can be reduced by more than 90% for about the same cost as other common home repairs such as replacing the furnace or air conditioner.
“Many Canadians will be hearing this message during Radon Action Month.” Said Roshini Kassie, with the Lung Association and coordinator of the Take Action on Radon network and awareness Campaign. “This year, we will be celebrating and promoting the many partnerships of the Take Action on Radon network. The strength of the network is the number and variety of stakeholders from all different sectors – NGOs, charities, health and public health, radon professionals, government, builders, academics, retailers – all standing and speaking together with one voice encouraging Canadians to take action on radon.”
“As a licensed child care provider with a family-centred philosophy, the wellness of our children, staff, families, and communities is always top of mind for Family Day,” said Family Day program manager Mary Sharifzadeh. “Taking part in the Lung Association’s Radon Awareness Campaign is a reflection of our proactive approach and commitment to these priorities, and of our support for the Canadian Child Care Federation’s support for mandatory radon testing in all Ontario child care centres.”
Radon is a radioactive gas in the ground that you can’t see or smell. It gets into homes and buildings undetected through cracks in the foundation or gaps around pipes.
Radon is present in almost every home in Canada and the only way to know if the radon level is high is to conduct a test. Canadians can purchase a simple and inexpensive do-it-yourself test kit or they can hire a certified radon professional to conduct the test for them.
Health Canada recommends testing for a minimum of three months starting in the fall, when windows and doors typically remain closed. The Canadian Radon Guideline is 200 Becquerels/cubic metre. While it is strongly recommended that Canadians fix their home if their level of radon is at or over the Guideline, there is no completely safe level of radon and home owners are encouraged to reduce radon levels as low as possible. Canadians should contact a certified radon professional to determine the best and most cost effective radon reduction solution. You can find where to purchase radon test kits and where to find certified radon professionals at www.takeactiononradon.ca/test and http://c-nrpp.ca
- Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
- Health Canada estimates that over 3000 (16%) of lung cancer deaths among Canadians are attributable to indoor radon exposure. Smokers exposed to radon are at significantly higher risk of lung cancer.
- The higher the radon level and the longer people are exposed to radon, the higher the risk.
- 7% of Canadians are living in homes with radon levels above the current radon guideline of 200 Bq/m3.
Further information on Radon can be found on various websites including those of Health Canada, and at www.takeactiononradon.ca
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Coordinator, Take Action on Radon
New Brunswick Lung Association
(506) 455-8961 Ext 110