What is Radon?

For a start, it’s Canada’s #2 cause of lung cancer.

What is Radon?

Radon is an odorless, invisible and dangerous radioactive gas. Radon is formed when Uranium, which is naturally occurring, breaks down in the soil, rocks or water in the ground. This gas enters your home through various channels, such as cracks or joints in the foundation of your home, through sump pits, or well water supplied to your home.

The leading cause is the low air pressure of your house relative to outside, resulting in radon being sucked through the foundation cracks and joints in your basement or crawlspace. 

Radon can be found everywhere, even in the air we breathe outside. The radon found outdoors is not considered dangerous as it gets mixed with a high volume of fresh air. However, when a high concentration of Radon seeps into a closed-in space, like a home it can become very dangerous to our health. You and your family could be breathing in high concentrations of this radioactive gas without even knowing it!

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Is radon a recent discovery?

Radon has been around since the beginning of time, but it was only in the 1930s-1940s that testing was conducted on Uranium miners in the South Western  United states. In the early 60’s the US public health service found a drastic increase in rates of lung cancer in miners exposed to high Radon levels. Three studies of Canadian miners throughout the 80’s-90’s, all found evidence in support of the link between radon exposure and lung cancer.

How common is radon?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 25% of homes tested in Ontario between 2009-2013 had radon concentrations that required remedial action. Since radon testing began, there have been many attempts to map out radon concentrations throughout Canada. While these maps can be useful in determining geographical regions with elevated radon concentrations, these maps cannot exclude the possibility of radon in your home.

Radon has many ways of entering your home, and is dependent on the geological sources and pathways leading radon into your home, building metrics that draw the radon into the house and human behavior that can elevate radon. These factors can vary between houses, even if they are built next to each other. For these reasons we recommend that everyone contact your local radon provider and get your house tested ASAP!

 

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