Radon is a naturally occurring gas that has no colour, odour or taste. It is formed by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and groundwater. The highest levels of radon concentrations are found in the interior and northern regions of the province.
Radon is not a problem outside because it is diluted when released into the air. It becomes a health risk if it accumulates to high levels in enclosed spaces such as homes, especially areas that have inadequate ventilation (e.g., basements).
Radon is the main cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked tobacco. It increases the risk of lung cancer in smokers. The risk of developing lung cancer depends on how much radon is in the indoor air, as well as how long the exposure is. Short-term exposure to radon does not pose a significant risk.
The BC Lung Association has a comprehensive website on radon, called RadonAware, with information and resources for the public, building professionals, researchers and others. It also allows you to order a radon test kit.