WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces like homes, it can sometimes accumulate to high levels, which can be a risk to the health of you and your family.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF RADON?
Radon gas breaks down or decays to form radioactive elements that can be inhaled into the lungs. In the lungs, decay continues, creating radioactive particles that release small bursts of energy. This energy is absorbed by nearby lung tissue, damaging the lung cells. When cells are damaged, they have the potential to result in cancer when they reproduce. Exposure to high levels of radon in indoor air results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The risk of cancer depends on the level of radon and how long a person is exposed to those levels. Exposure to radon and tobacco use together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer. For example, if you are a lifelong smoker, your risk of getting lung cancer is 1 in 10. If you add long‑term exposure to a high level of radon, your risk becomes 1 in 3. On the other hand, if you are a non‑smoker, your lifetime lung cancer risk at the same high radon level is 1 in 20.
Go to Canada.ca/radon for full details.