Good Science in Plain Language

Lung Cancer Deaths from Radon Gas in Canadian Homes and Buildings Higher Than Expected

Health Canada scientists have found that many more homes than expected from previous surveys have radon levels above Canadian public health guidelines. This conclusion was reached on the basis of radon tests conducted in some 14,000 homes and buildings across Canada.

Having analyzed the test findings, Health Canada scientists have concluded that about 7% of homes and buildings across Canada have high radon gas levels. They have also concluded that approximately 16% of all lung cancer deaths in Canada can be attributed to radon in homes and buildings, irrespective of lung cancers from smoking. These estimates are higher than previous Health Canada estimates. The Radiation Safety Institute of Canada has commented on this matter, applauding Health Canada for the new rigor it has shown on the radon issue since it finally lowered the radon exposure guidelines in 2006.

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