What, When, Where and Why about Radon

What is Radon?

Radon gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas. It is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in soil, rock and groundwater.

Why is Radon Important?

It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. In the United States, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are radon related and in Canada that number stands at approximately 3,000.

What is the Risk of Radon Found in the Home?

Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States and Canada is estimated to have an elevated radon level.

How Does Radon Get Into the Home?

When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it gets diluted to low concentrations and is not a concern. Within homes, it typically moves up through the flooring system and other openings between the ground and living spaces. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem – this means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. Even if you live in an area with fairly low environmental radon, you could still have significant levels in your home.

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What Can I Do About It?

Radon testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. Many home inspection companies conduct a short term test using a continuous monitor to provide a snapshot of the home to see if it has elevated levels of radon. Testing takes approximately 2-3 days and results are provided, then interpreted and the report is sent directly to you. If the radon levels are found to be too high, a special fan system can be installed to bring those levels down in to the safe zone.

 

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