Widower Urges Canadians to Protect Themselves from Radon-Induced Lung Cancer

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Cancer News
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OTTAWA, Oct. 24, 2017 /CNW/ - "I wish we knew years ago about

the risk of lung cancer from radon exposure," said Mark Nielsen, whose wife was diagnosed with lung cancer just after their family dog was found also to have lung cancer. "I want to share our family's story so that other
people will take action now before it is too late. My doctor told me about radon and when we tested our home we found the level was over the Guideline. I hope that everyone will test their home and fix it if necessary. The system we had installed reduced the levels to 33 Bq/m3, a level similar to outdoor air." Mark's wife Lori passed away on Jan 22 one week before their 28th anniversary and 3 weeks before their grandson was born.  

Breathing high concentrations of radon over a long period increases the risk of developing lung cancer. An estimated 16 per cent of lung cancer cases nationwide are attributed to radon exposure, making it the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the country. At least eight Canadians die every day from radon-induced lung cancer.  It is easy to test your home for radon. 

Public Opinion research indicates that while radon awareness in Canada is increasing, the link between radon exposure and lung cancer risk is low and Canadians think that reducing radon is difficult and expensive.  These perceptions are wrong. "Radon is a silent killer in Canadian homes," said Mike Holmes Jr., home renovation expert, television personality and prominent radon awareness campaigner. "What's shocking is that so many people who know they are living with dangerous levels of radon do nothing to fix the problem. The good news is that if a radon test confirms your house is contaminated, fixing the problem is not only easy but also relatively inexpensive." The cost to fix your home depends on the size of the home and the mitigation system required. The average mitigation installation takes less than a day and can cost between $2,000 and $3,000.

November is Radon Action Month. To encourage more Canadians to test and mitigate their homes, Take Action on Radon (TAOR) is announcing a new Radon Reduction Sweepstakes!  TAOR and the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) have partnered to offer a total of $10,000 for a National Radon Reduction Sweepstakes! The sweepstakes is intended to reward homeowners who have tested their home for radon and taken action to reduce levels to below the Canadian Radon guideline level. Homeowners have a chance to receive a rebate of up to $1,000 towards the cost of the radon reduction method in their home. There will be 10 draws, each worth up to $1,000 with two prizes awarded per region.

About Radon Action Month

Radon is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas comes from the breakdown of uranium found everywhere in the soil and rock.  All home and buildings contain some radon; the question is how much and the only way to know is to test. It gets into buildings through cracks in the foundation, floor drains or openings for pipes. 

November is Radon Action Month in Canada. During Radon Action Month, stakeholders who form the national Take Action on Radon network from various sectors – NGOs, charities, health and public health organizations, radon professionals, government, builders, real estate, academics, retailers – and every province and territory will be encouraging Canadians to take action on radon.  To learn more about radon in Canada, to find a long-term test kit or a C-NRPP-certified radon professional, visit http://www.takeactiononradon.ca/

SOURCE Ontario Lung Association



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