Skip to main content Skip to sitemap
Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
radon periodic table symbol surrounded by colourful houses

Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas created by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. Radon is colourless, odorless, and tasteless. In the open air, radon poses limited health risks, as radon escaping from the soil is diluted in the open air. However, in confined spaces, such as homes, radon can build up and become a health hazard. Exposure to high levels of radon has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. In Canada, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoke.

The risk of health effects from radon depends primarily on:

  1. Radon concentration
  2. Duration of exposure
  3. Smoking habits or exposure to second-hand smoke

Smokers are at significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer when exposed to radon. A non-smoker exposed to radon has a lifetime lung cancer risk of 1 in 20. A smoker NOT exposed to radon has a lifetime lung cancer risk of 1 in 10, whereas a smoker exposed to radon has a lifetime lung cancer risk of 1 in 3.

Radon gas can enter your home through cracks in the basement, sump pumps, floor drains, or any other opening where the house contacts the soil. The Canadian guideline for radon levels in indoor air is 200 Becquerels* per cubic meter (Bq/m3).

*A Becquerel equals one radioactive disintegration per second.

The age or location of a house can’t predict the level of radon. Radon concentration will vary from home to home, neighbour to neighbour. Any house could be at risk. The ONLY way to know the radon level in your home is to test.

Resources:

Interested in receiving monthly updates about HPEPH programs and services?

Sign up for our e-newsletter

We are gradually resuming in-person services at HPEPH by appointment only at this time.  Please review our Service Interruptions page for more information.

All program lines and the COVID-19 information line operate Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (excluding statutory holidays).

To assist us with our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we ask anyone visiting the office for an appointment to:

  • bring a non-medical mask, physical distancing may not be possible during your appointment
  • maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres, both inside and outside the office
  • review symptoms of COVID-19, and reschedule your appointment if you have symptoms of the virus, or any other illness
  • reschedule your appointment if a family member or other close contact is ill
  • use accessible buttons to open doors, instead of handles
  • use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the building

We have made additional changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are visiting our office for an appointment, you can be confident that we are:

  • increasing our cleaning, in alignment with heightened infection control protocols
  • considering alternatives to in-person appointments and meetings when possible
  • screening staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
  • offering in-person services by appointment only to reduce traffic in office
  • ensuring staff wear masks and/or other protective equipment when seeing clients

Please continue to our website for more information about our programs and services.