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Radon in your Home

Radon in your Home


If you live in a home with high radon levels or if you spend a lot of time in one, you are at higher risk for lung cancer.

If you smoke and you live in a home with a high level of radon, you are at an even higher risk for lung cancer.

According to Health Canada Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, accounting for 16% of lung cancer deaths, or 3,200 deaths in Canada, annually. 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.


Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible and radioactive gas that occurs naturally. Radon is an inert gas, it moves freely and can find access into buildings. The air pressure inside your home is usually lower than in the soil surrounding the foundation. This difference in pressure draws air and other gases, including radon, from the soil into your home.


It enters through cracks found around the perimeter of foundations, footings and slabs, sump pump pits and other such areas. Radon can enter a home any place it finds an opening where the house contacts the soil: cracks in foundation walls and in floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes, support posts, window casements, floor drains, sumps or cavities inside walls.


All homes have some Radon. Even your home! The question is What Is Your Home Radon Levels? 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.


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 morehttp://calgaryherald.com/storyline/study-finds-radioactive-radon-gas-exceeds-safe-levels-in-one-in-eight-calgary-homes

Radon test results and what does it mean?


Action is only required when Radon levels are high. Radon is measured in Becquerel per cubic metre (Bq/m3).

  • If your home’s radon level is less than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada radon guidelines say that no action is required. However, even low levels of radon can be harmful. It’s a good idea to try to lower your home’s radon level as much as possible, even if it’s already below 200 Bq/m3.
  • If your home’s radon level is between 200 and 600 Bq/m3, you should repair your home in the next two years.
  • If your home’s radon level is over 600 Bq/m3, you should repair your home within one year.


What to do if Radon levels are high?


Radon Levels can be reduced.


  • Properly test your home by contacting a certified tester through the Canadian Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP)
  • Radon reduction (mitigation)is recommended by Health Canada if your home’s radon levels are high. If your radon levels are high a CNRPP Radon mitigation professional can resolve this by installing a radon mitigation system. A compact and efficient ventilation system that draws the air from underneath your home foundation usually accomplished by installing 4” conduit in the sump pit or underneath basement concrete slab that draws out air from underneath. Usually, this process is completed in one day with good results.


By Marco Carello