Residents in Southern Manitoba are being encouraged to test their home for radon gas.

November is Radon Action Month and Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Health Canada reports that 16 per cent of lung cancer deaths are attributable to radon exposure.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. We encourage people to test their homes for radon and take the necessary steps to reduce radon levels if their homes test above the Canadian guideline” said Rod Tutkaluk the Westman Regional representative for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Radon is an invisible, odourless and tasteless radioactive gas that is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. “Radon can enter a home any place it finds an opening where the house contacts the soil.”

In enclosed spaces, it can accumulate to high levels, which increases the risk of lung cancer to the occupants.

“We work with Health Canada in trying to promote the idea of raising awareness of radon. It has been dealt with in the past and it kind of goes in cycles and we are back into a cycle of where we are trying to let people know it is the second leading cause of lung cancer” said Tutkaluk.

People are encouraged to go out and get a kit and perform the test. “Some hardware stores do carry test kits but the Canadian Cancer Society will have them at any of our offices in Manitoba.”

It is recommended people do the longer three month test to give a more accurate reading.

Tutkaluk would like to see more people doing tests because the only way you are going to find out if your home has above acceptable levels is to do the test. “Once your test period is over you give us the testing unit and we send it off to a lab for analysis and let you know the findings.”

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