The Healthy Communities Blog – Radon

Test Your Workplace for Radon

It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. But radon doesn’t have to be scary.
Radon is an invisible, odourless, tasteless radioactive gas that invades all homes and buildings and can accumulate to extremely high levels. When inhaled, it irreparably damages the DNA in healthy lung tissue cells and causes lung cancer. It kills over 3,000 Canadians every year. It’s impossible to predict which buildings will have dangerously high levels. It sounds scary but it really doesn’t have to be.
Radon is a gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. It’s been around forever and we’ve all been breathing it all our lives. Outside, radon levels are low. The danger comes when radon gas enters a home, business, childcare facility, or other building and accumulates to high levels. Left untreated at these high levels is when radon can become scary. But the good news is that you can easily prevent the scariness.
The first and most important thing to do, is to test for radon. Every home and building will have some radon in it, the only way to know how much, is to test. Test your home, test your workplace, test your school – every building should be tested for radon. You can purchase a do-it-yourself long-term test kit at Home Hardware or Home Depot, or at another location near you. Long-term test kits measure the radon in indoor air over a period of 90 days or more and they are by far, the most reliable and accurate tests.
If your radon results are above the Canadian guideline (200Bq/m3), it can be fixed for a reasonable cost. The most common and effective solution is the installation of an active soil depressurization system. This system draws the radon from below the building to the outside to stop it from entering the building and reduces radon levels by over 90%. Be sure to contact a C-NRPP-certified radon mitigation professional to help you find the most effective radon-reduction method best suited to your home or building.
Radon gas can be scary but it really doesn’t have to be. With an easy test, you can protect your health.
To find where you can get a radon test kit in your community and for a list of C-NRPP-certified radon professionals, visit www.takeactiononradon.ca/test.
This message is brought to you by Pollution Probe’s Healthy Communities Campaign, and Take Action on Radon.

Having a staff meeting? November is Radon Awareness Month. Ask for 5 minutes on the agenda to talk about radon, and use material from our three-slide PowerPoint presentation!

Download the slides here!