What is radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like homes, it can accumulate to high levels and become a risk to the health of you and your family.

Health Effects

Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Exposure to high levels of radon in indoor air results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The risk of cancer depends on the level of radon and how long a person is exposed to those levels.

Exposure to radon and tobacco use together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer.

Radon gas breaks down to form radioactive elements that can be inhaled into the lungs. In the lungs, radon continues to breakdown, creating radioactive particles that release small bursts of energy. This energy is absorbed by nearby lung tissue, damaging the lung cells. When cells are damaged, they have the potential to result in cancer when they reproduce.

Reducing Levels in your home

If your radon test result is above the Canadian guideline of 200 Bq/m3 you should hire a certified radon professional to determine the best and most cost effective way to reduce the radon level in your home.

Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. A radon mitigation system can be installed in less than a day and in most homes will reduce the radon level by more than 80% for about the same cost as other common home repairs.

Health Canada recommends that the contractor be certified as a radon mitigation professional from the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP).

The most common radon reduction method is called sub-slab depressurization. With this solution a pipe is installed through the basement sub-flooring to an outside wall or up through to the roof line. A small fan is attached which draws the radon from below the house to the outside before it can enter your home. Increasing ventilation and sealing major entry routes can also help reduce radon levels, but their effectiveness will be limited depending on how high the radon level is and the unique characteristics of each home.

Radon test for Home Buyers

A short-term screening of 2-7 days will be conducted to provide some insight as to whether a radon mitigation may need to be installed if the levels are above the Health Canada guideline of 200 Bq/m3. We recommend conducting a long-term test once you move into the new home to confirm whether or not a mitigation system is required.

Radon test for Home Owners

 A long-term test of 91+ days will be conducted to measure if the levels are above the Health Canada guideline of 200 Bq/m3.