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Healthy Environments

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Radon is an odourless, colourless, and radioactive gas that is naturally present in our environment. Exposure to radon increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Level of risk depends on the amount of radon present, the length of time you are exposed, and whether or not you smoke. Smoking combined with exposure to radon significantly increases your risk of lung cancer. The only way to know if radon is present in your home is to test for it.
You can be exposed to radon gas when it enters your home through any opening that contacts the soil, such as cracks, in foundation walls, or sump pump drains. Lower levels of your home (e.g. basements) are at greater risk of increased radon levels. Your risk of exposure is significantly reduced in the outdoor environment because radon disperses in the air.

Radon is a radioactive gas that can pose a risk to your health when it accumulates in your home. Long-term exposure to radon gas can also increase your risk of lung cancer. Checking to see if you have radon in your home is simple, you can test your home with a do-it-yourself kit or by contacting a certified radon professional. The Canadian guideline for radon is 200 becquerels per cubic meter. When levels exceed this guideline action is needed. Test kits are available at many home improvement stores and online. A long term test is recommended and the best time of year to conduct radon testing is from fall to spring.

Want to test your knowledge about radon? Take the Radon Quiz developed by the Canadian Lung Association.

If the radon levels in your home are found to be above the Canadian guideline of 200 Bg/m3, there are ways to fix the problem. Depending on the features of your home and what the radon levels are, a certified radon professional can also help you reduce the radon levels in your home.
Smoking, combined with radon exposure, significantly increases your risk of developing lung cancer. Quitting smoking is an important way to reduce your risk. Thinking about quitting, but not sure how? Need some help but don't know where to go? Visit Smokers' Helpline or our Thinking About Quitting page that offers a list of supports and resources to help you successfully quit smoking.
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