Radon is a radioactive gas, it is invisible and dangerous if found in high concentration in your home and considered one of the deadly killer in Canadian Homes.Why? Most of the homes in Canada does have radon gas because it occurs naturally in the ground, but the concern is how much is safe and how to evict radon gas? This is one of the important issue new home buyers should consider while purchasing their new home.
We all know that inhaling carbon monoxide is harmful for our health…but there is another silent killer in our own home called Radon gas.
What is Radon gas? How does it affect your health? When it enters your home? Here’s all you need to know
Radon falls in the category of radioactive gas which occurs naturally due to the breakdown of uranium in the ground. You cannot see, smell or taste radon gas, as it can enter in your home undetected.
In the outside atmosphere radon is not concentrated therefore it’s not concern. However, in confined spaces like your house, radon gas concentration can increase up to high levels leading to many health risks.
How does it enter into you home?…
Radon gas enters your home from any place where the house touches the soil and there is an opening.
Main entry points in your home are:
- cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs
- construction joints
- gaps around service pipes
- support posts
- window casements
- floor drains
- sumps or cavities inside walls
- dirt floors
What amount of radon is dangerous?
There are lot factors that contribute the concentration of radon in your home like, the amount of uranium in the ground, the number of entry points in your home and last but not least the poor ventilation in your home.
Health risks to you and your family?
16 % of lung cancer deaths in Canada are caused by exposure to radon gas for long time.
The time difference between the exposure and the onset disease is many years, it does not happen over days or months. Occasional exposure to radon does not produce symptoms like coughing and headaches as happens when you are smoking. The risk starts to develop when you are inhaling the air which has high concentration of radon gas and the period of time you are doing same.
The risk of lung cancer significantly increases if you are a smoker and also breathing radon.
What is the prevention method?
Radon gas is dangerous and one of the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmoker. This gas is odorless and colorless that’s why most Albertans are unaware of its presence in their homes. In a research done by Robson DNA Science Center Network, it was found that 1 in 8 Alberta homes exceeded Canada’s maximum acceptable radon limits. Research shows that the radon gas issues is higher in newly built home as compared to older ones, because they are built more airtight.
How to Evict Radon?
Get your home tested to see if its affected by radon gas or not. Buying a new home is always challenging and a big decision of everyone’s life, you can add buyers’ condition to have radon gas test before purchasing. The process takes 3 months but you can always buy test kits which cost $60 and the total cost will be less than $3000. Purchase your radon test kit from here (link)
There are also some devices that are approved by Health Canada, the standard long-term radon detectors are the electret ion chamber and the alpha track detector. The most popular long-term radon detectors are the electret ion chamber and the alpha track detector.
The detectors are placed inside the home for some time and then send to labs for test. Radon gas is measured in units called “becquerels per cubic meter” (Bg/m3). In order to get the accurate results, the tests are done in different seasons as the levels of radon can be different in fall as compared to winter months. The concentration of radon gas inside the home varies over time, that is why the standard time for the test is 90 days, set by Health Canada. Ready to conduct the radon test yourself?
Follow these rules before doing the test
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and the guidelines before placing the radon detector inside your home
- Make the measurement in the lowest lived – in area where you spend less than 4 hours a day
- Avoid bathrooms, as you spend less in this room
- In order to avoid disturbance during the measurement, place the detector somewhere in the corner.
- Place the detector a minimum of 50cm from any floor, wall or ceiling and more than 20 cm from other objects.
- Don’t take the measurement in the kitchen, as the exhaust fan, humidity and airborne particles from cooking can alter the test result.
- Don’t place the detector close to an outside wall, near a sump or floor drain
- Avoid locating the detector in drafts from heating or air conditioning vents, near windows or doors, or sources of heat, such as stoves, fireplaces or strong sunlight.
- Evict Radon. Retrieved from http://www.evictradon.ca/
- Canada, H. (2014, July 30). How to Test for Radon? Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/radiation/radon/test-radon.html
- Canada, H. (2012, September 25). What are the Health Effects of Radon? Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/radiation/radon/what-health-effects-radon.html
- Evict Radon. (2017, November 12). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=TsemZwMjvrE
- Image retrieved from Http://choicerealtyltd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/radon.jpg