MOSCOW, November 24 (Sputnik) — The overwhelming majority of Canadians have not tested their homes for radon gas which is the second most common cause of lung cancer in the country, a survey by the Canadian Cancer Society released Monday revealed.
The poll, conducted from October 22 to October 29, shows that 96 percent of Canadians have not tested their homes for cancer-causing radon gas while 51 percent of those questioned say they were likely to move if they knew that the concentration of radon in their home was significant.
Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas which occurs naturally as an indirect decay product of uranium and thorium. Radon gets into the air when soil or rocks break down due to weather. If getting into a closed space, radon can accumulate to high concentration – and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to radon is one of the main risks of ionizing radiation, causing tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year globally.
"About 16% of lung cancer deaths [in Canada] are caused by radon exposure, making it the second-leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco," said Robert Nuttall, Assistant Director of the Canadian Cancer Society, as quoted by Newswire Canada.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about 20,500 Canadians will die of cancer in 2014 with 3,000 of the deaths caused by radon.