What is Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas and a natural byproduct of uranium breaking down. It’s found in the ground, in some water sources, and in the air we breathe every day. You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it.
If it’s diluted in the air outdoors, humans and animals are not negatively affected. However, if radon gets into your property for long periods undetected, it poses a health risk.
All homes and offices have some level of radon. The question is how much─and the only way to find out is to test for it.
why test for radon
In confined spaces like a house, condo, apartment, office, or commercial building, radon can build up to high levels and over time become a health risk. The current Canadian guideline for acceptable radon levels is less than 200 Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3).
Long-term exposure to high levels of radon damages the DNA in our lung tissue and can lead to increased lung cancer risk.
- According to Health Canada, over 1 million Canadian homes have very high radon levels.
- Alberta and Saskatchewan have the second highest radon levels in the world, after Poland.
- Radon exposure is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
- In Canada, 16% of lung cancers are estimated to be related to radon exposure, resulting in more than 3,200 lung cancer deaths each year.
- Radon-related lung cancer accounts for more deaths in Canada annually than vehicle collisions, house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and drowning combined.
- People who smoke and are exposed to elevated levels of radon are at an even higher risk – the chance of getting lung cancer jumps from 1 in 10 to 1 in 3, more than tripling the risk from prolonged radon exposure.