“I love New Brunswick, I’m here because I love it. But right now, the area has this hidden danger… this odourless, colourless, tasteless gas.”
Faces of Lung Disease:
Did You Know?
Radon gas decays quickly, giving off tiny radioactive particles. When inhaled, these particles can damage the cells in the lungs.
Angela Stief Lea is a health conscious, non-smoking 57 year old physiotherapist who recently received a terminal diagnosis of lung cancer. Faced with a prognosis of just a few months, she is using her newfound knowledge of lung cancer-causing radon gas to raise awareness in the small community of Havelock.
Radon gas is naturally occurring and is in all homes in Canada at varying levels. New Brunswick, based on its geology, has some of the highest rates of dangerous levels of radon in the country. You can’t see, taste, or smell radon, but you can measure it.
A lifelong health advocate, Angela is now telling everyone she knows about radon, urging her neighbours to obtain a home radon test kit. The results of the tests can be compared to Health Canada’s action levels to determine if the homeowner should complete renovations to remove the radon. Health Canada recommends radon mitigation be conducted within 1 year if the level is above 600 Bq/m3 (becquerels per cubic meter) or within 2 years is the levels is between 200 and 600 Bq/m3. No remediation is indicated at levels below 200 Bq/m3.
Jeff LeBlanc, of Radon Repair in Moncton, measured the level of radon in Angela’s home, and it maxed out his instrument, displaying 9,999 Bq/m3 making this the highest radon results he’s seen in his career.
Once high radon is found with a home radon test, simple renovations are effective at removing the radon from the home. This mitigation work can prevent lung cancer. Angela is urging her friends, neighbours, and relatives to test their homes, and wants everyone in the community to be aware of this silent cancer risk.
NB Lung’s tests show that around 1 in 4 homes in the province have unsafe radon levels.
Angela’s Allies is a community fund established in her honour to help address the financial barriers to radon testing.
“I just want people to donate to NB Lung. Not just on the radon front, but all fronts. Anybody with lung disease – they’re always advocates, and I think that is so important. When you can breathe, you’ve got a real right in life. So, support them if you can.”
Angela’s Story in her own words.
Page Last Updated: 28/02/2023