Radon is a gas that is odourless and colourless. It occurs naturally when uranium breaks down in soil. Radon is not dangerous when released into outside air as it is diluted by fresh air. However, radon is also released into homes and buildings from the ground through cracks in foundations or small spaces around pipes and drains. Anywhere your home is in contact with soil is a potential entry point. This is when levels can build up and become dangerous.
In high concentrations radon can start to cause health issues. Being exposed to radon in high concentrations is the #2 cause of lung cancer, with smoking being #1. Those who smoke and are exposed to high levels of radon gas have an even higher risk of developing lung cancer.
Health Canada recommends that all homes test for radon levels using a long term (3 month) test kit. According to Health Canada, radon levels of 200 Bq/m3 (becquerels per cubic metre) or higher are considered unsafe and require mitigation. For homes with levels lower than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada recommends testing every 5 years.
Please visit www.takeactionradon.ca for more important information, including how you can reduce the levels of radon in your home and resources on finding testing kits in the area.
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has a limited number of Radon Tests available for purchase. Please visit their website for more information: