The Rural Municipality of Hanover is giving residents a chance to test their homes for radon.

Chief Administrative Officer Luc Lahaie says they are working on this initiative with Take Action on Radon. According to Take Action on Radon, radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon gas can be found in elevated concentrations in homes across the country. 

"Radon is a naturally occurring gas that's in the soil," explains Lahaie. "And at times, because our new homes are very airtight nowadays there are some concerns that sometimes radon can accumulate inside the basement."

Lahaie says Take Action on Radon has provided Hanover with 100 radon test kits to be distributed free of charge to residents. He notes the way it works is that the "radon puck," as he refers to it, is placed in your basement and will be used to measure radon levels for the next 100 days.

According to Lahaie, there is no reason to believe that radon levels in Hanover are worse than in any other location in the country. However, Take Action on Radon has indicated that there might be certain pockets in Manitoba that are more prone to having higher levels of radon. 

"We would like to distribute the 100 radon test kits all over Hanover and see if there are different pockets in our municipality that's more prone to higher radon levels than the norm," he adds.

Lahaie says if a home is considered to have abnormally high levels of radon, there are ventilation systems that can remove the gas from the basement.

Anyone interested in picking up a radon test kit is invited to swing by the RM of Hanover municipal office. Lahaie says they would really like to get these all distributed over the next couple of weeks so that the testing is wrapped up by the end of February or early March.