What is Radon?

  • Radon is an invisible, odourless, and tasteless radioactive gas that is found naturally in soil and rock from the breakdown of uranium.
  • High levels of radon found indoors can be a health risk to you and your family. All homes have some level of Radon.
  • Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can lead to lung cancer making it the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) overall.
  • There is no evidence that radon exposure causes respiratory diseases such as asthma, or symptoms such as persistent coughing or headaches.

The only way to know how much radon is in your home is to test for it.

How does radon get in your house?

Radon can come out of the soil and water and seep into cracks and openings in your home, especially on the lower floor, basement, or crawlspace. Radon gas can get into your home through many openings, including:

  • unfinished floors
  • pipes
  • windows
  • sump pumps
  • cracks in the basement floor or foundation

Radon can get trapped inside your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces that don’t have good ventilation (air flow).

What are the health risks?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is estimated that 3,200 deaths every year in Canada are because of radon.  People who smoke AND are exposed to high levels of radon have an even greater risk of lung cancer. There are no immediate symptoms when you are exposed to radon.  The health risk from radon is long-term.  There is also no safe level of radon exposure, however the longer you are exposed to high levels of radon, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer.


How to test?

  • We recommend that you place the radon test kit in the lowest level of a home (such as a basement or main floor) for a period of three months where it will not be disturbed.
  • After three months, collect the detector and mail it to a laboratory for analysis and results.

Click here for complete testing instructions.

My home has high radon levels. What do I do?

  • If your home has high radon levels (200 Becquerels per cubic metre is the Canadian radon guideline), The Lung Association suggests you contact a certified radon mitigator.
  • A certified radon mitigator is a contractor or individual who is trained to fix your home and lower the amount of radon indoors.

Click here to find a certified radon mitigation expert near you.  



Page Last Updated: 31/10/2018