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What is Radon?

  • Radon is a radioactive gas that is colourless, odourless and tasteless. It is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in soil, rock and groundwater.
  • When radon seeps from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted to low concentrations and is not a concern. However, radon that enters an indoor space, such as a home, can sometimes build up to high levels.
  • The Canadian Radon Guideline from Health Canada recommends the level of radon in the air of a home be no more than 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3) per year.

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What are the health effects of Radon?

  • Radon particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs and damage lung tissue. Radon exposure increases the risk of developing lung cancer.
  • The risk of lung cancer depends on:
    • the level of radon in your house
    • how long you have been exposed
    • whether you smoke
    • whether you are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke
  • Exposure to radon and tobacco smoke together significantly increases your risk of lung cancer.

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How can Radon get into my home?

A diagram of how Radon gets into your home.
© Department of Natural Resources Canada. All rights reserved.

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Radon occurs naturally in the ground. Over time it can seep into a home through windows, plumbing or cracks in the foundation which can pose a health hazard.

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How do I test for Radon in my home?

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