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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health

Radon

What is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas created by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. You can’t see, smell or taste radon.

What are the health effects of radon?

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, and the leading cause of lung-cancer in non-smokers.

The health risk from radon exposure is long-term and mainly depends 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.

How does radon get into my home?

Radon gas can enter your home through cracks in the foundation or basement of a home, through sump pumps, floor drains, or any other opening where the house contacts the soil.

Is there radon in my home?

Every house contains some amount of radon. 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.

How can I test for radon in my home?

You can purchase a radon test kit from most hardware stores or online retailers.

How can I reduce radon in my home?

The Canadian guideline for radon levels in indoor air is 200 Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). According to Health Canada, here are the top 3 ways to reduce radon in your home:

  1. Hiring a certified professional lowers radon by up to 90%
  2. Increasing home ventilation lowers radon by 25-50%
  3. Sealing cracks lowers radon by 13%

You can read more about testing and fixing your home at the following links:

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COVID-19 VACCINES IN HPEPH

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 who have not yet had a first dose, or those who meet the minimum second dose interval are now eligible to attend HPEPH walk-in clinics. To view the schedule, visit the Booking and Eligibility Page.

If you attended a clinic and did not receive an email copy of your vaccination receipt you can download a copy off the provincial booking site at covid19.ontariohealth.ca.

PHARMACY-BASED VACCINATIONS

Individuals turning 12 and over in 2021 can also receive their vaccination at participating local pharmacies. Please visit covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations for location and registration information.

CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN HPEPH

On Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario moved to Step 3  of the the Roadmap to Reopen. We must all continue to follow the public health measures, advice and restrictions. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people in Step 3, and distancing must be maintained. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.