FALL RADON TESTING: Long-term radon test kits are now available.  

Thank you for your interest in testing with the Evict Radon research initiative.  

Evict Radon is a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to solving Canada’s large and worsening radon-gas exposure problem, a substantial cause of lung cancer even in non-smokers. Evict Radon embraces research strategies across disciplines to gain the information necessary to:

  1. Understand what type of property produces a high or low radon environment, and why
  2. Identify who in society are the most at risk from radon exposure
  3. Make meaningful changes to policy to engineer high radon out of our future buildings.

By testing your home with one of our non-profit, research-grade radon test kits and enrolling in our national, public university-based research study, you are helping Evict Radon aligned researchers from across Canada to understand radon exposure and develop new ways to protect ourselves and loved ones.

The genetic mutations caused by chronic exposure of lung cells to alpha particle radiation from radon will drive cancer formation. Depending on dose, it can take 1-3 decades before lung cancer is diagnosed.

  • Radon is classified as a category 1 carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Category 1 is only assigned to carcinogens that research and medicine has established to cause cancer in humans and animals with no doubts whatsoever.
  • Like many environmental lung carcinogens, such as tobacco or asbestos, it is chronic exposure to radon that is relevant to increasing relative lifetime risk of cancer.
  • Cancer occurs when genetic mutations impact how a cell grows, divides and/or spreads. When more genetic mutations accumulate over time, the risk of a cell becoming cancer increases.
  • The chances of getting a radon-induced lung cancer depend on the dose and duration of exposure, with higher exposures for longer periods meaning more genetic mutations greater cancer risk. Dose-for-dose, particle radiation causes a lot more genetic mutations than simple x-rays.

Radon is the 2nd leading cause of all lung cancers. It is the primary cause of disease in the fifth of lung cancer cases who are never-smokers. In Canada, this accounts for 10,000-40,000 cases per decade –an enormous burden of disease.

  • Large studies say that the relative risk of lung cancer is not significant for most people at less than 100 Bq/m3 of radon. However, lung cancer risk rises at >100 Bq/m3 radon.
  • Approximately 20% of lung cancer patients (1 in 5) are not tobacco smokers. The science indicates that the primary cause of lung cancer in these people is chronic radon exposure.
  • In Canada, the radon-attributable lung cancer burden is between 10,000 to 40,000 people per decade. This has a substantial cost in human suffering as well as economic consequences to the Canadian health care system estimated at $338 million per year.
  • Knowing your historic radon exposure is important information as it can enable you to remove that risk from your life. You should also tell your health care providers so they are aware of this as a cancer risk factor. 

The connection between residential radon and lung cancer was proven directly by several large studies collectively involving >10,000 lung cancer patients and another >10,000 healthy controls. The data indicated ~16% increase in relative lifetime risk of lung cancer per 100 Bq/m3of chronic radon exposure.

References: Krewski, et al. Residential radon and risk of lung cancer: a combined analysis of 7 North American case-control studies. Epidemiology 16, 137-45 (2005) and also Darby et al. Radon in homes and risk of lung cancer: collaborative analysis of individual data from 13 European case-control studies. Brit. Med. J. 330, 223 (2005).  

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