Public health officials are urging homeowners in Oliver-Paipoonge and Marathon to test the air in their homes “immediately” for a substance known to cause lung cancer in the wake of seriously high levels detected in recent tests.

“The Oliver-Paipoonge results significantly exceeded our expectations,” Thunder Bay District Health Unit environmental health manager Lee Sieswerda said Wednesday in a news release.

“If you live in Oliver-Paipoonge, there is a very high probability that you are living with high radon levels.”

Radon gas is a naturally-occurring substance found in Northern soils. It typically enters homes through drains and basement-floor cracks.

On average, about five per cent of homes in the province have elevated levels.

According to the results from tests conducted last fall and this spring in participating homes, 65 per cent of Oliver-Paipoonge residences showed high levels.

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