radonRepresentative for the Canadian Cancer Society, Tami Thiessen during a recent presentation to Winkler City Council on the dangers of radon.

With higher than average radon levels in Manitoba, the Canadian Cancer Society wants more homes tested.

Representative for the Canadian Cancer Society, Tami Thiessen explains across Canada 11 percent of homes have radon gas levels higher than Health Canada standards. In Manitoba one in four homes contain higher than accepted radon levels.

"There's a very high rate," Thiessen says. "It's very dangerous, the longer you live in a home that has those levels the greater your chance of lung cancer."

Radon is a naturally occurring colourless and odourless gas that enters homes through gaps in the floors and walls of basements, and is known to be a leading cause of lung cancer.

However, Thiessen says solutions to avoiding radon build up are available, and affordable test kits can help ascertain whether your home is at risk. A plumbing fix that vents radon out of the home can dramatically reduce radon levels, and costs anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000.

"This is one area of cancer we can prevent, so we certainly want to do that," Thiessen says.

Test kits are available by calling Thiessen at 822-6870 or by stopping by your local home hardware store. Thiessen recommends the more accurate long-term test kits.

The Canadian Cancer Society is also holding an open house November 18 to educate the public on the dangers of radon and the preventative measures available to home owners. The event takes place at the Days Inn in Winkler from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m, and continues from 7:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.

Thiessen says the event is open to the public as well as contractors, health professionals and public health.

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