Radon is a colourless, odourless and tasteless radioactive gas.  It is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in soil, rock and groundwater.

Sources of radon

When radon seeps from the ground into the outdoor air, it is not a concern because it there is a low concentration of radon. Radon that seeps from the ground into an indoor space, such as a home, can build up to unsafe levels. Health Canada recommends that radon concentrations in a home do not exceed 200 Becquerels per cubic metre per year.

Health effects from radon

Here are some of the health effects from radon:

  • You can inhale radon particles deep into your lungs and this can cause damage over time.
  • Chronic exposure to radon gas increases your risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Radon, when combined with tobacco smoke exposure, increases your risk of developing lung cancer.

Protecting your family from radon

The only way to determine if you and your family are being exposed to radon is to test.  To test for radon in your home, you can either:

If radon concentrations in your home are above the Canadian guideline of Becquerels per cubic metre, Health Canada recommends that you take measures to lower the concentrations.

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