Radon Study Results Worrying Health Unit

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is worried not enough people are checking for deadly radon gas in their homes.

Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada.

An ongoing local study of radon levels in area homes is producing similar results to a provincial study that put Windsor-Essex into the top five of Ontario communities with high concentrations of the gas.

The latest report from the local study found nearly 15% of detached or semi-detached homes participating in the research had radon levels greater than what's recommended to be safe.

A recent phone survey found 62% of respondents had no plans to test their home with 17% believing there was no risk attached to radon.

Environmental Health Manager at the Health Unit Phil Wong says the study results are troubling.

"It is of some concern. What we're trying to do is to encourage community members out there to go ahead and test their home for radon gas to see what their levels are."

He is encourages people to grab a radon test kit.

"The technique that we tell people when they're deploying their test kits is to actually kind of hang it from the ceiling so it's about at the head level, neck level so that would give you more of a representative of what the radon level is in your home where you're testing."

Wong is stressing the importance of testing for radon.

"You should test your home. You don't know how much you're being expose to — it's colourless, it's odourless, it's tasteless. Go get a test kit, test your basement or test your lowest live-level in your house."

Wong adds if a home registers high radon levels, a certified CNRPP mitigation specialist needs to be called in to address the problem.

A final report on the three-year local study is expected to be released later this year.

— with files from AM800's Gord Bacon