Radon Testing Season Is Here

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The best time for radon gas testing at your home or commercial property is in the Fall and Winter.

Saskatchewan and Alberta have known hotspots in Canada for radon gas, with pockets all over the place and having your home or office tested now is the best time of the year.

Radon is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks. Once this radioactive gas becomes airborne, it attaches itself to particles in the air and can then be inhaled.

Radon can enter your home or office building through foundation cracks and other unsealed openings in basement walls and floors. Radon levels are generally highest in cellars, crawl spaces and basements because these areas are nearest to the source and are typically poorly ventilated.

Although you will experience no immediate symptoms, the gas can damage lungs at the DNA level, potentially leading to cancer, when inhaled at high levels over many years. Health Canada states that on average, 16% of lung cancer deaths are attributable to radon exposure in Canada.

In 2006, an estimated 1,900 lung cancer deaths in Canada were due to radon exposure. Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. The Lung Association states the same facts and has been very active in promoting awareness.

Health Canada’s new guideline was developed in partnership with the provinces and territories. It is now 200 becquerels (“bec‐ krells”) per cubic metre, much reduced from 800 becquerels per cubic metre in recent years.

Health Canada’s guideline for radon has always been based on the best available scientific evidence of health risk and two recent, independent scientific studies in Europe and North America have shown that lung cancer risks extend to levels of radon found in some homes.

The only way to determine the actual concentration levels of radon in a home is by direct measurement. got mold?™ can assist in properly setting up a test for your building. The tests take three to six months to complete.

The best time to test is between September and April when your windows and doors are closed due to the cooler temperatures in our Canadian climate.

Radon can enter any home, new or old. However, remediation options available to you may differ, depending on the type of foundation you have.

If building a new home, speak to your builder about construction options that may reduce your risk. Every new home should be tested for radon by the homeowner after occupancy.

What if I get an unacceptably high reading?

Radon concentrations in a home can usually be lowered by reducing the emission from the ground into the building (for example, sealing cracks in cement foundations), and increasing the ventilation in basements and other enclosed areas where radon accumulates. We provide full-service radon mitigation and look forward to serving you.

Typically the cost to mitigate radon concerns range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the amount and type of work required in order to effectively mitigate. Please note that radon ‐ reduction techniques may also result in energy savings and lower your utility bills.

Radon levels vary not only from one geographic area to another but from house to house and building to building. A survey conducted by Health Canada in the 1970s showed that radon levels in certain Canadian cities were higher than in others. However, these same studies showed that it is impossible to predict whether any house or building will have a high level of radon. Your home or office may have very little radon gas, while your neighbour’s house or office has significant levels.

Based on past experience, multi‐story apartment buildings are much less likely to have radon problems.

How safe are public facilities (hospitals and schools)?

Government and Certain jurisdictions are currently testing for radon, for example, they are testing school divisions that wish to have their facilities tested. Initial testing has been completed. In the case of health care facilities, officials from Saskatchewan

Health will work with Regional Health Authorities and other stakeholder groups to ensure that owners/operators of these facilities have the necessary information to determine the safety of their facilities, and collectively determine if strategies to address radon need to be developed to maintain safe facilities.

Talk to the pros to set up an appointment to test your home or office for radon or call 1-855-910-8908 to speak to one of our Indoor Air Quality experts.

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