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Former Kingston-area contractor says more needs to be done about radon and it’s harmful effects

Click to play video: 'Southeastern Ontario home to a number of radon hot spots' Southeastern Ontario home to a number of radon hot spots
Former contractor says more needs to be done about radon and the harm it's causing – Sep 30, 2019

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.”

WATCH: Radon — what you need to know about this deadly gas that may be in your home

Click to play video: 'Radon: what you need to know about this deadly gas that may be in your home' Radon: what you need to know about this deadly gas that may be in your home
Radon: what you need to know about this deadly gas that may be in your home – Apr 29, 2018

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health are also taking notice of the radon problem.

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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.

WATCH: Research suggests exposure to radon gas in Alberta homes varies depending on where you live

Click to play video: 'Research suggests exposure to radon gas in Alberta homes varies depending on where you live' Research suggests exposure to radon gas in Alberta homes varies depending on where you live
Research suggests exposure to radon gas in Alberta homes varies depending on where you live – Dec 10, 2018

“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.”

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Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit will start selling low-cost radon test kits in November.

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