Radon Responsible for More Canadian Deaths Per Year Than Motor Vehicle Collisions

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Nov. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A coalition of national health organizations is urging Canadians to test their homes for radon, a naturally occurring and cancer-causing radioactive gas that is responsible for the deaths of more than 3,200 Canadians a year, which amounts to more deaths annually than car collisions, house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and drowning combined1.

To kick off November’s Radon Action Month, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) and CAREX Canada are launching Plan to be Here: an initiative that aims to raise awareness about the cancer risks associated with radon and the importance of having homes tested. 

“Many Canadians are unaware that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers,” says Pam Warkentin, Executive Director of CARST and Project Manager, Take Action on Radon. “Just as it’s now second nature for Canadians to buckle their seatbelts and change the batteries in their smoke detectors, we need to encourage people to take action to reduce their cancer risk and test their homes for radon.”

Radon is a radioactive gas that is present in the air and can accumulate in high concentrations in homes. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon damages the DNA in our lung tissue and can lead to increased lung cancer risk.

According to Health Canada, over 1 million Canadian homes have high radon levels.

“Radon can find its way into any home, regardless of location, age, upkeep or design,” warns Professional contractor and TV Host Mike Holmes Jr. “Help keep your family safe and get your home tested for radon levels. Testing is easy, and if your home has high levels of radon, the mitigation process is straightforward and affordable,” says Holmes. “Testing for radon should be as automatic as putting a smoke detector in your home. Why would you take the risk?”

Dave Dobson, a homeowner from Kanata, Ontario, thinks more people need to understand the risks of radon. He’s one of ten Take Action on Radon Sweepstakes contestants to win $1,000 toward the testing and mitigation of his home.

“Honestly, I was shocked when I received the result of 252 Bq/m3,” says Dave. “I wanted to believe it wasn’t an issue and the test result would be below the recommended 200 Bq/m3 advisory level.”

Dave called a certified mitigation professional to address the issue, and the work was completed in just a few hours. Dave now keeps a close eye on his home’s radon levels, even installing a continuous monitor that he checks daily.

Kelley Bush, Manager, Radon Education and Awareness, Health Canada, says Canadians need to be more proactive when it comes to protecting themselves and their loved ones from radon exposure.

“A recent study commissioned by Health Canada found that only 6% of Canadians have tested their home for radon,” says Bush. “We need to increase that number. The Government of Canada is committed to reducing the number of radon-induced cancer deaths in this country by working with our partners, stakeholders and community leaders to promote awareness and encourage more Canadians to take action against radon by having their homes tested.”

About Take Action on Radon
Take Action on Radon is a national initiative that works to bring together radon stakeholders and raise radon awareness across Canada. The initiative is led by the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST), CAREX Canada, and the Canadian Cancer Society. 

To learn more about Radon Action Month and how to test your home, visit: TakeActionOnRadon.ca

To schedule an interview with a representative, please contact:

Virginie Karagirwa
514 802-9093

 1 “Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics: 2016,” Transport Canada, accessed October 9, 2018, [https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/canadian-motor-vehicle-traffic-collision-statistics-2016.html].
“Fire statistics in Canada, Selected Observations from the National Fire Information Database 2005 to 2014,” Statistics Canada, accessed October 9, 2018, page 4, [http://nfidcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Fire-statistics-in-Canada-2005-to-2014.pdf].
“Carbon Monoxide Information,” Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, accessed October 9, 2018, [http://www.oafc.on.ca/carbon-monoxide].
“Canadian Drowning Report: 2016 Edition,” Life Saving Society, accessed October 9, 2018, page 2, [http://www.lifesavingsociety.com/media/241812/canadiandrowningreport_english_web.pdf].

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fb6af2ab-0921-4808-98ef-3dd4bc87ff14


The Take Action on Radon Team during the launch of this year's radon awareness campaign: Plan to Be Here