Canadians being urged to test radon levels in their homes

A national group is urging Canadians to test for radon in their homes.

Pam Warkentin, with Take Action on Radon, says the radioactive gas, could be building up inside people’s homes and impacting long-term health.

“It’s a concern because exposure to radon gas is linked to lung cancer,” Warkentin said. “In fact, in Canada, over 3,200 people a year are dying of radon-related lung cancer.”

Radon gas can enter a building by seeping up through any opening that has contact with the ground, like cracks in the foundation and floor drains.

“You can’t determine which building could have elevated levels unless you test,” she said. “It can be in homes, it can be in workplaces, it can be in any type of building.”

Warkentin says knowledge about the risks of radon are relatively new, and there’s not enough data to know how prevalent the problem is.

Data collected by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows the risks are higher in the Interior and northern parts of the province, but there hasn’t been much testing done around Metro Vancouver.

Warkentin says B.C. has taken leadership on the issue, praising recent changes to the province’s building code that are designed to limit the amount of radon in homes.

She adds there needs to be more awareness about the risks of radon, especially among homeowners and real estate agents.

If you want to test your home, you can visit for a list of available tests.

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