News Release: Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Encourages Residents to Test Their Home For Radon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, November 2, 2020 | 10:30 a.m. | Windsor-Essex County
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is encouraging residents to test their homes for radon gas this Fall and Winter. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and is linked to 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada. Through our three-year study, we have found that approximately 11% of homes in Windsor and Essex County have unsafe levels.
“The pandemic has made significant impacts on the amount of time we spend at home and has changed where many of us work, live, and learn. For some, this has meant spending many hours in home offices or homeschooling environments,” says Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health. “I’m pleased to announce that this year, we have worked with Essex County Library to offer radon gas testing devices at their open branches for members of our community to borrow and test their homes.”
There are several options to test the lowest lived-in levels of any home for radon gas,
- Purchase a 91-day long-term test kit online or from your local hardware store.
- Borrow a digital short-term test device at any open branch of the Essex County Library. A short-term test device can act as a screening tool to help determine if further long-term testing is needed.
- Hire a certified C-NRPP radon professional to test your home.
Radon is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas. The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test for it.
November is Radon Action Month. For more information on radon.
Radon is produced when uranium, found in soil, rock or water decays. Radon is found across Canada because it occurs naturally in soil. The gas rises up from the soil and can get into any type of building, where it builds up due to negative pressure and lack of air flow.
Radon gas can get into your home wherever there is an opening: cracks, gaps, spaces around pipes, through floor drains, sump pumps, etc. Radon levels are often the highest in basements and crawl spaces because they are the closest to the ground and often have poor ventilation. It is important to know that radon levels are not the same in every home. Your radon level may be very different than your neighbours.
If the radon level in your home is above the Canadian guideline of 200 Bq/m3, you should take action to reduce it to a level as low as possible. However, it is important to note that there is no level of radon exposure that is considered risk-free. It is the choice of the homeowner to decide what level of radon exposure they are willing to accept and to act accordingly. The higher the radon level, the sooner your home should be fixed.
Breathing in radon gas for extended periods of time can potentially be hazardous to you and your family and is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. Approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada are caused by radon exposure.