November is Radon Action Month and Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Radon is a radioactive gas found everywhere in the environment. It can enter a home or building any place it finds an opening where the house contacts the soil. Exposure to high levels of radon in indoor air results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. In Canada, exposure to radon gas is responsible for 16 per cent for all deaths caused by lung cancer. The risk from radon exposure for a smoker (including those exposed to second hand smoke) is much greater than for a non-smoker.

Manitoba is known to have higher than average radon levels, but the concentration of radon can vary from home to home even in those found in the same neighbourhood. All homes or buildings in contact with the ground will have some radon, the question is how much. The current Canadian action guideline for radon in indoor air is 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (200 Bq/m3).

The only way to know if your home or building has an elevated level of radon is to test. Radon testing is simple, low-cost and readily-available. Health Canada recommends that homes and buildings be tested for a minimum of three months. It’s best to test during the heating season (fall and winter months) as the radon concentrations are usually representative at this time. Radon testing can be done by measurement professionals or you can obtain a do-it-yourself long-term radon test kit from your local hardware store or community organization.

If your home or building tests above the guideline you should hire a certified radon professional to determine the best and most cost effective way to reduce the radon level to as low as reasonable achievable. Preventative measures can also be taken by builders during the design and construction process to reduce the amount of radon that gets into a home or building.

For more information

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Traditional Territories Acknowledgement
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located on the original lands of Treaty 1 and on the homelands of the Metis Nation. WRHA respects that the First Nation treaties were made on these territories and acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Metis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

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