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An invisible health risk might be in your home

An invisible health risk might be in your home

You’re not alone if you haven’t heard of radon.

Radon is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas found in the ground throughout the world.

However, in spaces such as homes and other buildings, it can build up to high levels, which can be a health risk over time. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, leading to the deaths of over 3,200 Canadians each year.

The great news is that it’s very easy and inexpensive to test your home for radon gas. The best time to test your home is October through March.

The BC Lung Association has tested many homes in the interior and the results have been concerning . For example, nearly 60 per cent of homes tested in Castlegar had higher radon levels than the Canadian guideline.

On Castlegar family with young children got their home tested and discovered their basement tested at 37,000 Bq/m³. To put this scientific measurement into perspective, the Health Canada recommendation is below 200 Bq/m³.

They were understandably shocked by the results, but thankfully they took steps and lowered the radon level to 29 Bq/m³ in the basement with the help of a radon professional.

The cold season is the ideal time to test. Remember that radon levels can vary significantly from home to home. The only way to know your level is to test.

You can purchase a detector from the BC Lung Association’s Radon Aware site.

For more information on radon and your health, visit Interior Health.