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Radon testing shows elevated levels in 1 in 7 Hamilton homes

A radon testing kit set up through Health Canada's Take Action on Radon advisory is seen. Submitted: Take Action on Radon

Public health officials are urging Hamilton homeowners to test for elevated levels of a cancer-causing gas.

The recommendation follows a survey of 294 homes that found that 42 of them, or approximately 14 per cent, had radon levels that exceed Canada’s “acceptable” level and are three times higher than the provincial average.

Read more: Dealing with the dangers from radon gas

Radon is made when natural uranium decays in rocks. It seeps into the basements of homes through cracks in floors and foundations.

“For those that have never been smokers, it is the leading cause of lung cancer,” says Dr. Bart Harvey, the city’s associate medical officer of health.

Read more: How Hamilton entered Ontario’s COVID-19 red level and what to expect

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Harvey adds that it’s not a gas you can see or smell, which means “you won’t know if you have it or you don’t” unless you test for it.

Test kits can be purchased through home improvement stores and a report presented to Hamilton’s board of health says the city will be increasing awareness through public outreach and advertising.

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