Health groups are urging residents to test their homes for radon, a naturally occurring and lung cancer-causing radioactive gas that is responsible for the deaths of more than 3,200 Canadians per year, which amounts to more deaths annually than vehicle collisions, house fires, carbon monoxide poisonings and drownings combined. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and Saskatchewan is a hot spot. All homes and buildings contain some level of radon; the question is how much? The only way to know is to test. Sandy Hutchison from Health Canada says, “Saskatchewan is a radon prone province compared to the Canadian average. In Regina area, one in four homes have levels above the guideline of 200 Bq/m3. Overall, 16% of the homes in Saskatchewan are estimated to be above the guideline.”
For Shawn and Brett Seidler of Regina, SK, learning about radon’s link to lung cancer was a deciding factor to test their home. Their home test kit analysis revealed high levels of radon in their family’s home. Shawn admits he was surprised by the results. “Our home is quite new. I didn’t think it would be an issue. We now realize the age of the home really doesn’t have a lot of effect on levels of radon.” With mitigation, radon levels in the couple’s home dropped dramatically. Shawn says the process was well worth the peace of mind and the knowledge that he and his family are now protected from the effects of the lung cancer-causing gas. “We have two young daughters and a large supporting family. Our plan is to be here for as long as we can for them.”
November is Radon Action Month. “To encourage more Saskatchewan residents to take action on radon, we have some exciting radon initiatives planned this month,” says Jill Hubick, Registered Nurse from The Lung Association and chair of the provincial radon coalition. The Lung Association in partnership with the Take Action on Radon Saskatchewan Coalition and Master Radon will be hosting a free radon public information session in Regina on Monday November 26 from 7:00pm -8:30pm at Executive Royal Hotel Regina (4025 Alberta Street, Regina SK). Presenters include Sandy Hutchison from Health Canada, Frank Kirkpatrick from Master Radon, Jill Hubick and Jennifer May from The Lung Association and Take Action on Radon Saskatchewan Coalition. All public and media are invited to attend.
About the Lung Association, Saskatchewan
The Lung Association is the leading organization in Canada working to promote lung health and prevent and manage lung disease. This is done by funding vital research and pushing for innovative ways to help people manage their health. The Lung Association, Saskatchewan’s role is to improve respiratory health and the overall quality of life through programs, education, research, training, treatment and prevention of lung disease.
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For more information
Jill Hubick, RN
The Lung Association, Saskatchewan
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