Home radon testing encouraged

Health: Lung Association offers chance to win kit.

Coleman Graf

To encourage more B.C. residents to test their homes for radon, the BC Lung Association is giving away radon test kits to three lucky contest winners every month. Sign up at RadonAware.ca.

“We hope our monthly contest will inspire more people to take the health risk of radon more seriously. Radon gas is accountable for up to 16 per cent of lung cancers and we suggest all B.C. residents test their homes,” says Coleman Graf, volunteer BC Lung Association director for Salmon Arm.

Exposure to colourless, odourless radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. B.C. residents, particularly those living in the Interior where levels of radon gas are known to be elevated, are urged to test their homes this winter.

“Should British Columbians be concerned about radon exposure? Yes. Should they panic? No,” says Britt Swoveland, RadonAware manager for the BC Lung Association.

“The risks from radon are cumulative, which means serious effects result from exposure to high levels over a long period of time. But it is important residents test for radon and, depending on the result, effective mitigation solutions exist.”

Measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), Health Canada recommends home radon levels not exceed a safety guideline of 200 (Bq/m3). As there is no known safe level of exposure, the BC Lung Association recommends making every effort to minimize home radon levels to lowest levels possible.

“One house can have radon levels next to zero while the house next door can be off the charts,” continued Swoveland. “A certified radon mitigation professional can reduce radon levels in most homes by more than 80 per cent for about the same cost as other common home repairs, rarely more than $1,500 to $3,500.”

To learn more about how radon affects your lung health – and to enter the monthly radon test kit giveaway contest – go to the BC Lung Association’s website RadonAware.ca or call the BC Lung Association toll-free at 1.800.665.5864.

For those who want to test right away, affordable do-it-yourself radon test kits are also available for purchase online at RadonAware.ca and include home delivery of lab results for $30.

 

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