Radon Kits Available To Help Measure Cancer Risk At Home

Phil Wong, public health inspector with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, holds a radon test kit at the launch of a radon awareness campaign on November 6, 2015. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Residents concerned about radon levels in their homes, and the subsequent risk of cancer, can pick up a free radon kit from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

This is the third and final year the health unit is giving away 1,000 kits as part of its “Radon: Know Your Level Study.”

Results from a study last year show that 15% of homes in Windsor-Essex have radon levels above 200Bq/m3, the Canadian threshold for safe exposure.

“Many people are not aware that radon gas is in almost every home, and that levels can be high in one house, while the one next door is safe,” says Health Promotion Specialist Karen Lukic.

Radon is naturally produced when uranium found in soil, rock, or water decays. Levels are often highest in basements and crawl spaces because they are closest to the soil and usually have poor ventilation.

The gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

It was also considered a possible cause of a cancer cluster in Windsor’s Remington Park neighbourhood, although most indications uncovered in the study pointed to smoking. None of the homes affected had radon detectors, although all 12 residents diagnosed with cancer used tobacco.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the study and receive a kit will need to fill out an application survey. Applications are also available at the health unit’s office in Windsor.