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Lung Cancer On The Rise – Radon Link?

After decades of falling cancer rates, a recent news story notes that lung cancers are rising among surprising groups.

Cancer specialist Dr. Natasha Leighl of Princess Margaret Hospital is quoted in a CTV piece as saying, “In cancer centres, it certainly seems that we are seeing more lung cancer, in particularly younger women and in people who have never smoked,” she says.

The statistics are troubling. Lung cancer among those who have never smoked is the 10th most common cancer in Canada, and is more prevalent among women than men. While doctors can’t pinpoint the exact cause of each case, they suspect radon gas has played a role in the growing number, in combination with pollution and other factors like genetics. Radon gas exposure is considered to be the second largest cause of lung cancers in Canada after smoking.

The difficulty becomes: if they don’t know the causes – how to go about cutting the risk? On the bright side, new treatments for this class of patient have shown good results.

What is Radon Gas?
Radon is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is produced during the natural decay cycle of uranium, which is present in many types of rock in varying amounts. In this part of North America, glacier movement during the Ice Ages broke up the underlying bedrock. Combined with our wide seasonal variations from deep freeze to summer heat and relatively high precipitation levels, the rock has gradually become more porous, allowing more and more of the gas to escape.

Its deadly effects are only felt over time. Out in the open, it easily disperses into the air, but in our modern airtight homes, it becomes trapped, often in basement and crawlspace areas. Since it’s virtually undetectable by human senses, you’ll have to get your home tested to check for levels of the gas. There are things you can do to help:

  • Make sure any basement or crawlspace areas are properly ventilated
  • Check for cracks in the basement flooring or foundation walls of the building on a regular basis

We Can Help!
Indoor air quality is a significant issue to your health, and radon gas is a particulary alarming issue, but ESG can help. We offer two types of radon gas testing:

  • Short term testing – the amount of gas can vary seasonally, but short term testing can give you a quick answer, sometimes in conjunction with a second short term test done some time later
  • Long term testing to try and detect the varying amounts of gas that can accumulate in your home throughout the year.

Let us give you peace of mind – call the Environmental Services Group for a quote.

In The News:
ESG is now an official supplier of HGTV’s Income Properties!

Environmental Services Group is a cutting edge environmental consulting firm based in Toronto and servicing both the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario. We provide state-of-the-art, industry-leading expertise in remedying environmental hazards such as mold, lead, asbestos and much more. Call 416-575-6111 or visit our website today for a pressure-free initial consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

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