Radon Ac­tion Month

Alan White­head, The Pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Radon Sci­en­tists and Tech­nol­o­gists (CARST), ad­dresses why home­own­ers should be con­scious of radon — one of Canada’s lead­ing causes of lung can­cer.

Toronto Star - - MEDIA PLANET - Photo credit: Radon En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Corp. Sherry Li

In­sight from Alan White­head of CARST on how to pro­tect your­self against this silent killer.

1 What is radon and where can it be found?

Radon is an odour­less, colour­less, and lethally toxic ra­dioac­tive gas that is found in rocks and soil and is present in ev­ery in­door en­vi­ron­ment, in­clud­ing homes, schools, and work­places, to some de­gree.

2 What are the health ef­fects of radon ex­po­sure?

Radon is the lead­ing cause of lung can­cer af­ter smok­ing and the lead­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal cause of can­cer mor­tal­ity. Health Canada es­ti­mates 8-10 Cana­di­ans die ev­ery day from radon in­duced lung can­cer.

3 Who are the most vul­ner­a­ble to the ef­fects of radon?

Ev­ery­one is vul­ner­a­ble — whenwe in­hale radon gas it emits al­pha radiation and dam­ages the DNA in our body. This dam­age leads to mu­ta­tions, which turn cells into can­cer. Chil­dren, whose lungs are rapidly de­vel­op­ing, and have higher res­pi­ra­tory rates than adults, are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble.

4 Why is radon some­thing all home­own­ers should be aware of?

Good in­door air qual­ity is es­sen­tial to a healthy home,and it is a home­owner’s duty to pro­tect their fam­ily from known health risks such as ex­po­sure to radon. While it’s true that all homes are sus­cep­ti­ble to high lev­els of radon, newer homes built dur­ing the last 25 years are par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to hav­ing higher lev­els of radon, due to mea­sures taken to re­duce/ con serve en­ergy con­sump­tion. Th­ese home­own­ers should take ex­tra pre­cau­tions.

5 How can you de­tect radon? Are there any warn­ing signs to look out for?

The only way to know if radon is a prob­lem in your home is to test for it. Sadly, the only warn­ing sign is when some­one is di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer, and the home sub­se­quently tests high for radon.The good news is it is easy and in­ex­pen­sive to test for radon and fix the is­sue if lev­els are high.

6 What can home­own­ers do to pro­tect them­selves from radon?

It be­gins with test­ing — a home­owner can self-test by pur­chas­ing a radon de­tec­tor from a rep­utable sup­plier, one that of­fers a range of op­tions, and has C-NRPP cer­ti­fied radon mea­sure­ment and pro­fes­sion­als on staff that can ad­vise the home­owner if needed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.