Radon Gas Exposure A Risk for Alberta Residents: U of C Researchers Discover

You’ve heard of read about radiation being a cause of cancer or maybe you’ve only head about radiation in the context of nuclear power, sun spots, nuclear power plants or even science fiction.  No one in Alberta has any concern about radiation exposure and certainly about any radiation exposure as it relates to any hazards to health.   Well, that’s all about to change if the research being done at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine.

According to Dr. Aron Goodarzi, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Oncology and a member of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, the Radon gas risk has become important enough for the launch of the Evict Radon awareness campaign focused on educating people about the effects of radon gas and to encourage as many Albertans as possible to test their homes while also gathering important data for medical research.

The researchers at the Cumming School of Medicine are launching a provincewide campaign to encourage all Albertans to have their homes tested for radon gas — for their own safety and to help map household radon throughout the province. Radon is a known carcinogen. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, radon is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that is naturally occurring, but can accumulate to unnaturally high and dangerous levels in homes throughout Canada. Long-term exposure to the gas is known to cause lung cancer in some people. University of Calgary research found that almost every day, an Albertan is diagnosed with a radon-related lung cancer.

Learn more about the Evict Radon campaign and sign up for your radon kit at www.evictradon.ca. The radon kits used in the study cost $60.  There is a great video explaining the testing on YouTube here.

You’ll also find a 12 minute Tedx Talk video by Dr. Goodarzi here.

You can find a fact sheet at: https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2018-12-12/evict-radon-fact-sheet

If after doing the testing you find that Radon gas levels are above acceptable levels there are remediation measures that are available and are very effective in making your home safe, so don’t panic but do take action.   Make certain you share this information with your family and friends. 

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