Parts of southeastern Ontario are considered hot spots for radon, according to a health unit survey.
Erin Hayes, a public health promoter, says the health unit has a better understanding of radon levels in the region after a survey, the results of which were released in July.
“We had 1,047 people test their homes for radon and we found that 21 per cent of those homes tested above Health Canada’s guideline of 200 becquerels parts per metre cubed. And 52 per cent of households tested above the World Health Organization level of 100 becquerels parts per metre cubed.”
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Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health are also taking notice of the radon problem.
About 25 per cent of Ontario homes surveyed from 2009 to 2013 had radon concentrations that required remedial action, according to Cancer Care Ontario.
“Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and it is drawn into basements under pressure because the protections were not on the wall,” said John McEwen, a former Kingston-area contractor.
In his 30-plus year career, McEwen says he’s applied around 600 waterproof membranes to existing houses. He says the membrane stops the gas from entering the dwelling.
McEwen says a number of different parties have needed to do more about radon for decades.
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“This has been an issue with me since the early ’80s, of course. Now we’re getting into the numbers, the numbers are horrifying as to how many people are actually dying from lung cancer from this disease.”
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit will start selling low-cost radon test kits in November.