What is RADON?
Radon is an odourless, tasteless, invisible and radioactive gas that occurs naturally. It is the process in which Uranium, found abundantly in the ground, gradually decays and is found in soil, rocks and water.
What is the concerns with Radon?
Radon gas breaks down or decays to form other radioactive elements Radon Decay Products (RDP) that can be inhaled into the lungs. In the lungs, Radon and RDP emit ionizing radiation. This radiation released is absorbed by the lung tissue, and resulting in killing and or damaging the lung cells. When cells are damaged, they have the potential to result in mutation (cancer) which can reproduce.
Cancer risk levels with radon are contingent on a few factors. Mainly the exposure levels and the length of exposure. Having elevated levels of Radon in your home results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
Smokers are at significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer when exposed to radon than with non-smoker. Following excerpt from Health Canada “Exposure to Radon and tobacco use together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer. For example, if you are a lifelong smoker your risk of getting lung cancer is 1 in 10. If you add long term exposure to a high level of radon, your risk becomes 1 in 3. On the other hand, if you are a non-smoker, your lifetime lung cancer risk at the same high radon level is 1 in 20.”
How does Radon enter your home?
As Radon is an inert gas, it moves freely and can find access into buildings. It enters through cracks found around the perimeter of foundations, footings and slabs, sump pump pits and other such areas.
All homes have some Radon. Concentrations typically are highest in basements, crawl spaces and areas closest to the soil. The intensity can be increased as there is often less ventilation in these areas compared to the rest of the home.
Interestingly, one house may have high concentrations of radon whereas the house right next door may not. This has to do with the position of the uranium under the ground: If a building is constructed above soil containing uranium, radon can seep into the building. The only way to know if your home has unsafe levels of radon is to test for it. Refer to the diagram on the right taken from HEALTH CANADA.For further information on RADON as per Health Canada, please click Radon: Is in in your home (Health Canada).
Radon in Calgary?
According to the latest study, Radioactive Radon Gas exceeds Health Canada guideline levels in one out of eight Calgary homes. With the highest percentage being newer homes. Read more http://calgaryherald.com/storyline/study-finds-radioactive-radon-gas-exceeds-safe-levels-in-one-in-eight-calgary-homes
Radon Testing for your home
Want to know if you have high levels of Radon in your home. Testing is the only way to find out. Start by hiring a C-NRPP certified Radon measurement professional to come and test your home. A C-NRPP Certified Professional are recognized professionals are recommended and recognized by Health Canada, the Canadian Lung Association and Canadian Cancer Society.
WestPro Inspections is C-NRPP certified for RADON measurement and a member of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientist and Technologist (CARST). The C-NRPP was established in 2014 as an agreement between the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) and Health Canada to fulfill the need for a certification program with established guidelines for Canadian radon professionals.
To schedule an appointment with a Radon Measurement Professional at WestPro Inspections, please contact us.
Do it yourself test is also available. Radon testing is relatively simple and inexpensive. Radon test devices can be purchased here by just clicking below.