Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Test Your Home for Radon During Lung Cancer Awareness Month – Radon gas identified as second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking

November 1, 2012

OTTAWA, Nov. 1, 2012 /CNW/ – Recent research by 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. The good news is that it is easy to
reduce the risk.

“November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and an opportunity to raise
awareness of this significant, but relatively unknown, health risk”,
said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “Health Canada
is encouraging all Canadians to conduct a simple test to measure radon
levels in their home and to take steps to reduce exposure, if

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 most hardware stores. Health Canada
recommends testing for a minimum of three months starting in the fall,
when windows and doors typically remain closed.

“Canadians are at higher risk of getting lung cancer if radon gas is
present in their homes and if they smoke or are exposed to second-hand
smoke,”   says Mary-Pat Shaw, acting CEO and president of the Canadian
Lung Association. “During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Canadian
Lung Association encourages people to test their homes for radon gas
and to eliminate their exposure to tobacco smoke.”

As part of the long-term testing process, homeowners can hire a
certified professional to test their home or purchase a do-it-yourself
test kit. At the end of the testing period, the   detector is sent to a
laboratory and a report will be sent indicating the level of radon in
the home. If radon levels are found to exceed the Canadian guideline of
200 becquerels per cubic meter, then it can be reduced at a reasonable
price. Homeowners can visit Health Canada’s website for information on the steps they can take to reduce radon levels in their

In March 2012, Health Canada released results from the Cross-Canada Survey of Radon Concentration in Homes. This study obtained an estimate of the proportion of the Canadian
population living in homes with radon gas levels above the guideline.

For more information on radon please see Health Canada’s website.

SOURCE Health Canada

Source: PR Newswire