Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that travels through homes from the soil and up through the basement.
The Lung Association of Manitoba said that our province ranks the second highest in the country for radon contamination. The organization’s president and CEO Neil Johnston said it can be dangerous for people and pets.
“The difference with carbon monoxide is it’s a quick killer. So it’s very important we monitor for carbon monoxide but radon takes many years so the exposure is longer and it’s not something that really hits you in the face right away,” he said.
The Lung Association says 10 to 30 per cent of Winnipeg homes have unsafe levels of Radon.
It’s so concerning because it is the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers, which is what sparked Marla Vittera to get her Winnipeg house tested.
“Why set yourself up for something like that when there’s enough things in this world that are going to harm you anyways?”
READ MORE: What you should know about radon gas
Experts say people can buy a home radon test kit and should place it in the lowest level of the house, where people spend about four hours or more per day. Vittera set the test up in her basement.
Vittera hope to learn levels in her home are low.
“I’m hoping we get the readings to find out what’s really going on down here and then we have the knowledge to take care of that and avoid that continuing to be in our house,” she said.
The testing unit should be left in place for a minimum of 90 days, and then sent in for analysis. Once you receive the results back, if your home does have high levels of the gas, you can do things to increase the ventilation in your home to get rid of the gas.
For more information on what to do, see the Government of Manitoba website here.
You can purchase a radon test kit online.