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What is radon and how can it harm your lungs?

Radon is a gas formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in all soil and rock.

How can radon harm my lungs?

As radon breaks down it forms radioactive particles that can get lodged into your lung tissue as you breathe.  The radon particles release energy that can damage the cells in your lungs.  When the cells in your lungs are damaged, there is the possibility of developing lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and Saskatchewan is a hot spot!

How can radon enter my home?

Most of the time the air pressure inside your home is lower than the pressure in the soil surrounding your home’s foundation.  This difference in pressure can draw air and other gases in the soil, including radon, into the house.  Gas containing radon can enter your home at any opening where the house contacts the soil.  These openings can be present even in well-built and new houses.

How do I test for radon?

All homes and buildings contain some level of radon; the question is how much?  You can’t see, taste or smell radon.  The only way to know how much radon is in your home is to test for it.

Testing is easy and inexpensive. We offer long-term radon test kits called alpha track detectors which are approved by Health Canada.  Radon levels in a home change over time.  They can increase and decrease from one day to the next.  For this reason, testing over a longer period of time is most accurate.  Health Canada recommends that home owners do a long-term radon test, for at least three months, during the fall or winter months.  Place the detector in the lowest area of the home where you or a member your family spends on average four hours each day. Testing instructions are included in your test kit.

What is a safe radon level?

There is no completely safe level of radon.  Home owners are encouraged to reduce radon levels to be as low as reasonably possible.  The Canadian Guideline for radon in indoor air is 200 Bq/m3.

 

 

BREATHE EASY. On average you breathe 22,000 each and every day.
Test and reduce the radon levels in your home today because you have a lot of living and breathing to do.

Page Last Updated: 04/02/2019