November is Radon Action Month in Canada and the Government of Yukon is encouraging homeowners to test their homes.
Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. The invisible, radioactive gas occurs naturally in some soils and may be present in any home in the territory. It enters buildings through cracks, drains, sump pumps and gaps around pipe fittings. If a test shows that radon levels are above the Health Canada guideline of 200 Becquerels per cubic metre, Yukoners are encouraged to take action to remove radon from their home.
In Whitehorse, radon test kits are available to purchase at Home Hardware with a subsidy from the Yukon Lung Association. In communities, a limited number of test kits are available at Yukon Housing Corporation community offices.
Radon mitigation qualifies under the Yukon Housing Corporation’s Home Repair Program. For more information on this program, visit yukon.ca/en/apply-funding-repair-home.
The Take Action on Radon campaign is a partnership between the Government of Yukon, Yukon Lung Association and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, with the support of Health Canada.
Radon gas exposure can negatively affect the health and safety of Yukoners. The gas can be present in any home in any community in Yukon and the only way to know if there is radon in your house is to test for it. I encourage all Yukoners to test their homes for Radon and take action to remove it from their home if the detected levels are above the Health Canada guideline.
Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation Ranj Pillai
Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and the risk is significantly higher for smokers. I encourage all Yukoners who have not done so already, to test their home for radon this winter and to take action to lower high radon concentrations. If you are a smoker, I also encourage you to consider quitting or cutting back on the amount you smoke.
Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. André Corriveau
While many homes in Yukon have radon mitigation systems installed, there are still many homes in the Yukon with radon levels above Canada’s national guideline. We are pleased to be involved again this year in encouraging Yukoners to test their homes for radon and to install a radon mitigation system when needed.
President of the Yukon Lung Association Doug MacLean
Radon is a colourless, odourless radioactive gas. It is recommended that Yukoners test their homes for a minimum of three months during the winter, with closed windows.
There are certified radon measurement and mitigation specialists in Yukon who can test for radon in your home and take steps to remove it, if needed.
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 someone who smokes.
The Yukon has one of the highest levels of radon in Canada. It can be present in any home in the territory. The only way to know if your home has radon in it is to test for it.
Radon test kits typically cost $60. In Whitehorse, they are available from Home Hardware with a $10 subsidy. There are a limited number of kits available for free at Yukon Housing Corporation offices in communities.
If a test shows a reading of 200 Becquerels per cubic meter of radon gas or higher, Health Canada recommends action to remediate your home. The higher the concentration of radon, the sooner something needs to be done about it.
If you are a smoker, reach out to Yukon’s Quitpath smoking cessation program at www.quitpath.ca or call 667-8393. The program offers coaching, tips and free nicotine replacement therapy.