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Radon

Topics: Air, Contaminants and Hazards, Indoor Air, Radiation

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas released from the degradation of uranium naturally present in rock and soil. Radon levels outdoors are generally low; however, radon can enter buildings and homes through cracks and openings in the foundation and can accumulate at much higher concentrations indoors, especially in basements and lower floors.

  • Over 3,200 Canadians are estimated to die each year due to radon gas exposure. (Chen et al., 2012)
  • Exposure to indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after tobacco smoking. (EPA, 2016)
  • Health Canada recommends that dwellings do not exceed 200 becquerels per cubic meters (Bq/m3). (Health Canada, 2014)
  • In some regions of Canada, 25% of homes were above guideline levels. (Health Canada, 2012).
  • Health Canada recommends all Canadians have their homes tested for radon levels as it is impossible to predict radon levels without measuring it. (Health Canada, 2013)

NCCEH Resources

Selected External Resources

Government Documents

Peer-Reviewed Literature

Selected Non-Government Organizations

  • CAREX Canada radon maps
    The maps and tables show the percentages of home radon measurements based on measurements from the Cross-Canada Radon Survey. Categories of Bq/m3 levels are illustrated across Canada by health region, within provinces and territories and by select cities and towns.
     
  • Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists
    Their goal is to promote public awareness of radon measurement, mitigation, and reduction; ensure quality standards; share resources and promote partnerships.
     
  • Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program
    This certification program establishes guidelines for training professionals in radon testing and mitigation services. A list of certified radon professionals in Canada is provided.
     
  • Take Action on Radon
    Led by the Lung Association and Scout Environment, with support from Health Canada, the purpose is to recruit and engage stakeholders to participate in radon outreach and education, with the month of November designated as Radon Action Month.
     
  • Radon Aware (The Lung Association)
    Resources are aimed at BC residents, local government, policy makers and researchers and includes maps, videos and posters as well as information on ordering radon test kits and mitigation advice.
     
  • Canadian Environmental Law Association
    The collection of letters and documents includes a 2014 review of law and policy in Canada.
     
  • Public Health Ontario
    Included are radon-specific documents and the environmental burden of cancer in Ontario which highlights radon gas a major health concern.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Omission of a resource does not preclude it from having value.

Last updatedNov 14, 2016