After stating that high radon levels had been found in an “alarming percentage” of homes in the region, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health is now selling radon test kits.
The local Health Unit is encouraging residents to test their homes for radon levels, and, beginning Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, KFL&A Public Health will be selling certified radon tests for $20. The tests can be purchased at the KFL&A Public Health offices in Kingston, Napanee, Sharbot Lake, and Cloyne. Homeowners can return the tests to KFL&A Public Health three months later to have them sent away for laboratory analysis. The laboratory will then send all participating homeowners a report outlining the radon levels in their home.
In 2018, KFL&A Public Health conducting a Radon Testing Study which saw 1,047 participants test their homes for radon. According to KFL&A Public Health, the results found that 52 per cent of the homes tested in the KFL&A region were above the World Health Organization’s radon guidelines of 100 Bq/m3. Of those homes tested, 21 per cent were above Health Canada’s radon guideline of 200 Bq/m3.
“Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soils. You can’t see, taste, or smell radon. It can enter buildings through cracks in foundation floors and walls, gaps in pipes, open floor drains, or any other area of exposed soil,” KFL&A Public Health said in a press release on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. “In confined spaces like a home, radon can build up to high levels becoming a health risk. The likelihood of high radon cannot be predicted by the age or location of a home; all homes are at risk.”
The local Health Unit said that breathing in high levels of radon for many years can lead to lung cancer. In Canada, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoke.
“The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test for it” said Erin Hayes, Public Health Promoter at KFL&A Public Health. “We want to encourage everyone to test.”
Radon tests can be picked up at all KFL&A Public Health offices during regular business hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or during the following extended hours at the Kingston and Napanee office locations:
221 Portsmouth Avenue
Saturday, November 2 and 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
99 Advance Avenue
Thursday, November 14 and 28 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
To learn more from KFL&A Public Health about radon, potential health risks, and how to lower radon levels in your home, click here.