The Government of Yukon has partnered with the Yukon Lung Association to participate in Canada’s Take Action on Radon campaign. The emphasis this year is on areas where previous radon testing showed high results, including communities and Whitehorse subdivisions.
Radon is an invisible, radioactive gas that comes from the ground and can enter buildings through cracks, drains, sump pumps and gaps around pipe fittings. It can be found in any Yukon home and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
The Government of Yukon and the Yukon Lung Association urge Yukoners to test for radon in their homes and to take action to remove radon if test results are above Health Canada guidelines.
Starting November 28, a limited number of free test kits are available in Yukon communities at Yukon Housing Corporation offices outside of Whitehorse. In Whitehorse, radon test kits are on sale at Home Hardware with a subsidy from the Yukon Lung Association.
Our priority is to ensure all our homes across the territory are safe and healthy. Radon gas is present in every community in Yukon, and I urge all Yukoners to test for radon in their homes and mitigate the risks of exposure.
Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation Pauline Frost
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon and tobacco use together can greatly increase your risk of lung cancer if you are a smoker. But radon effects can be prevented. Get your home tested this winter.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley
The Yukon Lung Association encourages all Yukoners to test their homes for radon gas. To build on last year’s campaign, we are providing a limited number of free radon testing kits to Yukon communities outside Whitehorse. In Whitehorse, kits are available at Home Hardware with a $10 subsidy from the Yukon Lung Association.
Yukon Lung Association president Doug MacLean
Health Canada guidelines state that homes with radon levels below 200 Bequerels (Bq) /m3 is acceptable. For homes with readings between 200 Bq/m3 and 600 Bq/m3, remediation is recommended within two years. For homes with readings above 600 Bq/m3 remediation is recommended within one year.
There are certified radon measurement and mitigation specialists in Yukon who can test for and remove radon in homes.
It is estimated that a non-smoker exposed to high levels of radon over a lifetime has a one in 20 chance of developing lung cancer. This increases to one in three for a smoker exposed to high radon levels over a lifetime.
Yukon has one of the highest levels of radon in Canada. In Whitehorse, Wolf Creek, Pineridge, Spruce Hill, Mount Sima and Porter Creek have all tested high for radon levels.