Northern Health is launching a new strategy to educate northern homeowners about the potential dangers of radon gas, and to encourage radon testing and mitigation.
Radon gas is a radioactive, colourless, odourless gas that is naturally found in the soil in many parts of the North.
It can build up in the basements and lower levels of people’s homes where it can be inhaled and lead to lung cancer. Scientists have determined radon causes approximately 10 per cent of all lung cancers worldwide, which is second only to smoking. Because radon cannot be smelled or seen, it is often termed the “silent killer.”
Northern Health’s new radon strategy will be carried out by the new Healthy Community Environments Lead, a position created as part of the Northern Cancer Control Strategy to focus on environmental cancer prevention. The strategy is being implemented in the Northern Interior and Northeast health service delivery areas, and will be rolled out across the Northwest in the coming months.
Testing a home for radon is the only way of detecting its presence.
Testing is easy and inexpensive (ranging from $30 to $60). As part of the strategy, Northern Health is now offering radon test kits for $30, making it easier for homeowners in the North to test their homes.
These are available at the Public Health Protection Offices in Prince George (4th floor of the Native Friendship Centre), Quesnel (523 Front Street), and Vanderhoof (3299 Hospital Road). Once elevated radon concentrations have been detected in a home, there are several mitigation strategies available for homeowners.
If you would like to know more about radon or would like to purchase a radon detector, please contact your Healthy Community Environments Lead at 250-565-2150 or email@example.com. You can also visit the Northern Health radon website at www.northernhealth.ca.