Janet's Story Regarding Radon Exposure and Lung Cancer

What is Radon?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking—and it could be in your home. When soil and rocks break down, they release radon gas which is odorless and invisible. If radon is released into enclosed spaces like your home, it can accumulate and result in health effects which become more serious over time. Most commonly, the gas can damage the DNA in your lungs and eventually could cause you to develop lung cancer.

What can I do about radon in my home?

The only way to know is to test and if your test results show radon levels of 200 bq/m3 or higher, there are steps you can take to reduce these levels, which in turn will reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.

What about Smoking?

One factor to consider when reading your test results is if people smoke inside your home. Smoking more than doubles the risk of developing lung cancer when radon gas is present.

Why am I just hearing about radon now?

Health research on radon gas started in the 1980s. Research from Canada—particularly studies involving uranium and fluorspar miners—has been key to our understanding of how radon affects our health.

In 2007, the Canadian government lowered its guidelines for acceptable levels of radon in a house from 800 bq/m3 to 200 bq/m3. Studies from Canada and the U.S. offered important evidence that linked radon levels to lung cancer risk, which prompted the government to make this change.

Participate in SFU’s Citizen Scienctist research project to help map this dangerous gas in North and West Vancouver and the Howe Sound region.

For more information refer to the video from Dr. Aaron Goodarzi below: