Manitoba has been tested to have the 2nd highest levels of radon exposure in the country, tied with the Yukon, and residents of Southern Manitoba are being encouraged to have their homes tested.
Radon is an invisible, odourless and tasteless radioactive gas that is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the ground and can find its way into our homes.
"We're definitely in an area that has a problem," said Gord Titchkosky, owner of Polar Plumbing and Heating in Winkler. He says radon levels in the southern part of the province have been tested to be even higher than elsewhere in Manitoba.
Titchkosky explained exposure to radon has been proven to cause lung cancer. "When radon breaks down it can create miniature explosions, and if you're breathing that in at high levels for long periods of time, those miniature explosions can happen in your lungs."
Radon can find its way into any home, new or old, and the only way to know if levels are too high is to test for it.
Titchkosky said the winter months are the best time to test for radon in our homes, as they are much more closed off and there is a lot less ventilation. "Also when we're heating, that heat wants to rise and creates a pull on your basement floor, so the entry of any soil gases, including radon, is greater in the winter."
If you're interested in finding out more about radon, testing for it, and mitigation, Titchkosky, the only certified radon mitigator in Winkler, encourages you to stop by Polar Plumbing and Heating.