OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2010) -
Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this Press Release.
Radon gas exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – yet awareness of this risk remains low among Canadians. To increase radon awareness, the Canadian Lung Association is launching a new social media campaign and urging Canadians to test their homes this fall.
"The Government of Canada supports the Canadian Lung Association's efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of radon," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "We have a shared commitment to providing Canadians with important information about the health risks of radon and encouraging them to test their homes for radon."
Radon gas is a hidden danger because it is odorless, tasteless and invisible. Radon is formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. The gas can seep into your home undetected through cracks in the walls or foundation.
Radon and Lung Cancer
Radon is a concern because it decays quickly, breaking down into tiny radioactive particles. When breathed in, these particles damage the cells that line the lung. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, the only cancer proven to be associated with inhaling radon. The good news is testing your home for radon is easy and relatively inexpensive.
As part of its public awareness campaign the Canadian Lung Association is promoting some creative new tools, including an interactive radon quiz and a video. The Association will also provide education and information through its various social media profiles: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
About Radon testing
If testing shows your home's radon level is more than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada radon guidelines advise repairing the problem by hiring a reputable contractor experienced in radon mitigation. Once the source of the problem is identified, the contractor can fix the opening and reduce the radon in your home to a safer level. Test kits cost about $50. You can buy a test kit from some provincial Lung Associations, online or at most hardware stores.
Testing is the only way to know if your home has high radon levels. Long-term tests are a better indicator of average radon levels than short-term tests.
"Radon can be found all over Canada. There are parts of the country that tend to have more radon, and parts that tend to have less. But it's impossible to know how much radon there is in your home unless you test for it, "says Heather Borquez, CEO and president of the Canadian Lung Association.
Canadians are also at higher risk of getting lung cancer, if radon is present in their home and they smoke or are exposed to second-hand smoke.
"Protect your family from the dangers of radon," says Ms Borquez. "Don't wait to get your home tested."
Learn more about radon
Test your radon IQ – take our radon quiz
Watch our radon video
Know the risks for lung cancer
About The Canadian Lung Association
Established in 1900, The Canadian Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs, and advocacy on lung health issues. For more information on The Canadian Lung Association or learn more about radon visit: www.lung.ca.
Year of the Lung
2010 has been declared the Year of the Lung, by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS). The goal of this global campaign is to raise awareness about lung health among the public, initiate action in communities worldwide, and advocate for resources to combat lung disease including increased investment in basic, clinical and translational research worldwide.
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