Radon | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Radon

Is there radon in your home? Participate in our testing study to learn more.

HPEPH is conducting a radon testing study to learn more about radon levels in our region. Are you interested in a FREE radon test kit, which can determine the radon level in your home? 

Apply now! The application deadline has been extended until November 21st. Eligible participants will be selected on a first come, first served basis, by municipality.

**Please note - if you are selected to participate in this study, you will be contacted by email and advised when and how to pick up your radon testing kit.**

 

What is radon?

Radon is a colourless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks.

What are the health effects of radon?

In the open air, radon poses limited health risks. As radon escapes from the soil, it is diluted in the open air. However, in confined spaces such as homes, radon can build up and become a health hazard. Exposure to high levels of radon has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. In Canada, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoke.

The risk of health effects from radon depends primarily on:

1. Radon concentration

2. Duration of exposure

3. Smoking habits or exposure to second-hand smoke.

Smokers are at significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer when exposed to radon.  A non-smoker exposed to radon has a lifetime lung cancer risk of 1 in 20. A smoker NOT exposed to radon has a lifetime lung cancer risk of 1 in 10, whereas a smoker exposed to radon has a lifetime lung cancer risk of 1 in 3.

How does radon get into my home?

Radon gas can enter your home through cracks in the basement, sump pumps, floor drains, or any other opening where the house contacts the soil.

How much radon is safe?

The Canadian guideline for radon levels in indoor air within homes is 200 Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). A Becquerel equals one radioactive disintegration per second. The World Health Organization guideline for indoor air is 100 Bq/m3.

Should I be concerned?

Radon is found across Canada because it occurs naturally in the soil.  Concentrations differ greatly, but are usually higher in areas where there is a higher amount of uranium in underlying rock and soil. Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health conducted a radon study and found 21% of homes tested above Health Canada’s radon guideline of 200 Bq/m3 and 52% of homes tested above the World Health Organization’s radon guideline of 100 Bq/m3.

The age or location of a house cannot predict the level of radon.  Radon concentration will vary home to home, neighbour to neighbour.  Any house could be at risk.  The ONLY way to know the radon level in your home is to test.

**Please note - if you are selected to participate in this study, you will be contacted by email and advised when and how to pick up your radon testing kit.**

Resources:

For more information, call (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 677 or email: radon@hpeph.ca