Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public health is trying to get the word out on the dangers of radon gas in homes.
Public Health is hosting a radon and lung cancer information session on Monday, Nov. 5 at Guelph’s West End Rec Centre. The free drop-in event runs from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Radon test kits will be available to purchase at the session for the discounted price of $35. During the month of November, discounted test kits can also be purchased online at www.wdgpublichealth.ca/radon.
The radioactive gas occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. In enclosed spaces, radon — an invisible and odourless gas — can sometimes accumulate to high levels.
According to Health Canada, long-term exposure to radon is linked to roughly 16 per cent of lung cancer deaths in Canada and is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
A Health Canada survey found that about 18 per cent of homes tested in Guelph were found to have dangerously high levels of radon. Shawn Zentner, manager of environmental health at Public Health, says the Ontario average is only 5 per cent.
Zentner says it’s not just older homes that might have high levels of the gas.
“If your home is new, you might still have a crack in the foundation which could allow radon to penetrate. If you have an old home, it might have so many cracks that it might penetrate but then also get back out. So you really need to test it to find out. You can’t really rely on your location or age of home.”
As part of the City of Guelph’s Radon Gas Mitigation Program, all new low-rise residential dwellings will require radon gas mitigation measures in compliance with the Ontario Building Code.
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