Radon is a
gas that is released from the ground when uranium in rocks and soil breaks down.
no colour, smell or taste. The only way to know if there are high levels of radon in your home is to test.
Radon can become a danger to your health when it
gets trapped inside homes and other buildings, and builds up to a high level.
Radon levels are
much higher inside than outside.
Radon can enter homes and other buildings through:
Cracks in floors, walls, or a building's foundation
Openings for drains, utility systems, and other openings in the foundation
Unfinished floors, wall joints, or other openings in homes
Indoor radon levels are affected by many things. For example:
- By what makes up the
soil under and around your home.
- Basements often have higher levels of radon since they are often below ground and don't have good
- Homes that
well insulated, tightly sealed, and/or built on soil rich in uranium, thorium and radium may have high radon levels (including new homes!).
- Rain, snow and barometric pressure can cause
radon levels to change from month to month or day to day.
Radon in buildings where you spend a lot of time can increase your chance of getting lung cancer.
- When you breathe in the tiny matter from radon it can damage your lung cells. This damage can cause lung cancer.
- After smoking, radon is the main cause of lung cancer. Health Canada estimates that over 3,300 Canadians die each year due to radon gas exposure. The lower the radon concentration in a home, the lower the risk of it causing lung cancer.
- If you are also a smoker, your lung cancer risk is even higher when you are also around radon. Most cancer deaths related to radon are of smokers.