Take action on radon

Radon gas can cause lung cancer. Learn how to detect radon in your home.

Radon is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Ontario adopting the National Building Code standards on radon mitigation will protect people at home, work and school.

Tell your MPP that we need action on radon!

Learn more about the dangers of radon.

  • Connections to lung cancer

    Radon exists in almost all indoor air. In low concentrations, it does not pose any significant health risk; however, exposure to high concentrations over extended periods of time can lead to lung cancer.

    Public Health Ontario estimates that 13% of lung cancer deaths are attributable to radon. In Ontario, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and the leading cause amongst non-smokers.

    To learn more about radon and its link to lung cancer, click here.

    Tell your MPP that we need action on radon!

  • Public opinion polling

    To mark Lung Cancer Awareness and Radon Action Month in November, the Society commissioned public opinion polling in the fall of 2015. The polling was targeted to homeowners, with at least partially finished basements, and who have children under 18 years old.

    As radon is known to accumulate in basements, the Society wanted to better understand the amount of time that people spend in basements along with their awareness level about radon.

    Highlights of the poll, include:

    • 4 out of 10 parents have a child or teen who spends at least 3 hours per day in their at-home basements; furthermore, 20% of parents say their kids spend a minimum of 3 hours in basements or in ground-floor environments such as classrooms and daycares.
    • The vast majority of parents – 90% - do not know that radon can cause cancer
    • Just 5% of poll respondents have tested their homes for radon

    To learn more about our polling and to read our full press release, click here.

    Tell your MPP that we need action on radon!

  • Test your home for radon

    The only sure way to know if radon levels in your home are too high is to test. A long-term do-it-yourself kit can be purchased from your local home improvement store. The test, including analysis and reporting, costs between $50.00 and $80.00.

    Health Canada recommends that you should follow up with a radon professional about radon mitigation, if your test results come back higher than 200 becquerels per meter cubed. Radon mitigation costs between $1500.00 and $3000.00, depending on your home.

    To learn more about radon and to take action, click here.

    Tell your MPP that we need action on radon!

    Meet Janet. Lung cancer survivor and radon awareness advocate.

    In 2009, Janet Whitehead regularly went to the gym but her breathlessness extended far beyond a run on the treadmill. When she also developed a persistent cough, Janet decided to speak to her doctor.

    She was sent for some tests which later revealed devastating news. The then 55-year-old had lung cancer.

    As a non-smoker she was shocked by the news and decided to look into other explanations and found a suspect – radon gas. Colourless, odourless and tasteless, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada.

    She decided to have her current and previous homes tested for radon gas. One of her former homes in Ottawa tested at 16 times higher than Health Canada’s radon guideline. As a stay-at-home mom, Janet spent about 18 hours a day in that home, mostly working from the basement where radon levels are more prevalent.

    Radon is responsible for 850 deaths in Ontario each year. Yet few people have taken action on this issue. According to a 2015 study by the Canadian Cancer Society, 90 per cent of Ontario families do not know radon causes cancer and only 5 per cent had tested their homes.

    “Most people aren’t aware that radon causes lung cancer. Testing your home for radon is inexpensive and it can save your life,” says Janet. “As a lung cancer survivor whose cancer is connected to radon, I am really passionate about helping people learn more about radon testing. I encourage everyone to have their home tested.”

  • Take Action

    To help eliminate the risk of radon exposure, the Society is calling on all parties in the provincial government to support the creation of legislation that would see the Ontario Building Code harmonized with the National Building Code, making comprehensive radon mitigation measures mandatory in all new buildings in Ontario.

    Additionally, the Society recommends that this legislation should also require a public education campaign on the dangers of radon.

    Sign to challenge your MPP to support this issue!