What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found within the environment. Radon is invisible, odourless and tasteless and emits ionizing radiation. This gas is produced during the decay of uranium found in soil, rock or water. Radon can move freely through the soil and seep into buildings through cracks in foundation walls and floors, or gaps around pipes and cables. When radon escapes from the bedrock into the outdoor air, it is diluted to such low concentrations that it poses a negligible threat. However, if radon gas seeps into the building, it can accumulate to high levels in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces. Radon levels are generally highest in basements and crawl spaces because these areas are nearest to the source and are usually poorly ventilated.
It is important to be diligent and assess your environment.
What are the risks of radon?
According to Health Canada, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. The risk of lung cancer from radon exposure depends on several factors: the level of radon, the duration of exposure, and exposure to tobacco smoke. Lung cancer risks are higher for those who smoke or are exposed to second-hand smoke. Radon has been frequently detected in homes across Canada. Even though radon is not always highly publicized as a public health concern, it is linked to more deaths than fires, drownings and airplane crashes (as per the EPA).
What can I do to reduce the risks associated with radon?
The only way to be sure if radon is present in your environment is to test for it. With professional radon testing and management consulting services, THEM is able to assess your home or workplace for potential radon exposure. Our C-NRPP certified professionals are able to provide both short and long-term testing, as requested. THEM also provides Lunch-and-Learn sessions to educate and raise awareness about the hazards of radon and offer management solutions. THEM offers the following services:
- Short-Term & Long-Term Radon Sampling
- Radon Awareness Training (Lunch and Learn)
- Recommendations on Remedial Actions
Additional measures you should take:
Quit smoking and avoid environmental tobacco smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke is described as the material in indoor air that originates from tobacco smoke. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke – even low levels of can be harmful and in combination with radon it creates a negative synergistic effect.
Test your building before and after you have made major improvements. The reduced home ventilation is often a result of household energy efficiency measures and can increase the concentrations of radon in the building (1). By testing for radon before the renovation gives you an opportunity to make changes in you plans if mitigation is necessary to install.
It is important to be diligent and assess your environment. Contact us for a free consultation or call for more 1-888-ASK-THEM information.
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