Radon

What Is Radon & How Is Your Health at Risk?

Radon is a colourless, odourless, and radioactive gas that is naturally-occurring caused by the breakdown of uranium in soil, and you can’t see, smell, or taste it. Outside, radon gas disperses into fresh air, and is harmless. Though naturally occurring outdoors, radon can be a threat to your health indoors, where it can accumulate to high levels when it enters through pipes, drains, and foundation cracks.

The Ontario Lung Association has shown that smokers who are exposed to high levels of radon have a 1 in 3 chance of developing lung cancer, compared to a 1 in 10 chance for smokers not exposed to radon. Radon is measured in Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m 3). Health Canada recommends that homes should not exceed 200 Bq/m3.


Radon in Thunder Bay

According to a study conducted by Health Canada in 2012, over 12% of homes in the Thunder Bay district have high radon levels. A focal study conducted by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit in 2015 found that on average, 16% of homes in our community have radon levels with a concentration of 200 Bq/m3 or higher. 

 

City Ward

Homes Tested

% with radon concentration of 200 Bq/m 3 or higher

McIntyre

82

43%

Neebing

47

30%

Red River

79

15%

Current River

68

13%

McKellar

63

6%

Northwood

75

3%

Westfort

54

0%


Radon in Oliver Paipoonge & Marathon

In 2018, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit conducted a study analyzing radon levels in Oliver Paipoonge and Marathon. The report found that on average, 65% of homes in Oliver Paipoonge and 17% of homes in Marathon have high radon levels. 


Radon Events

Attend one of our annual Radon workshops by clicking one of the photos below, happening throughout the month of November:

2

4

1

general-public

 


Radon Testing

The only way to know whether your home has radon is to test it. Fortunately, testing your indoor environments for radon is easy, and inexpensive! 

Health Canada recommends testing your environment for 90 days to 1 year, using a long-term detector certified by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program. 

Detectors cost approximately $50, and can be purchased at EcoSuperior, local hardware stores, or rented out by your local library for free. 

Click the images below to learn more about radon testing in your home. 

 

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