Surprisingly, radon gas is the number 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon is produced in the ground and may live in the ground, air, groundwater, or building materials. These can then enter your home and act to disintegrate and decay products. This is primarily seen in the lungs.
All homes have some amount of radon in it although not every home has high, threatening levels of radon. There is actually a small amount of radon present in outdoor air so radon will filter through your home from time to time.
There is no such thing as a radon-free house. The only question is how much radon you have. If you test regularly and take preventative measures from harmful radon gas, there is nothing to fear.
Here is a list of 7 interesting things about radon gas that you probably weren’t aware of:
- Your home definitely has radon in it
- Radon does not settle in your basement
- Radon doesn’t travel far to enter your home
- Since radon is produced from the ground, there is essentially an endless supply of it
- Radon is a colourless, odourless, and flavourless, essentially unrecognizable
- We’re still learning about Radon and the effects of it
- Every home is repairable and you can significantly reduce the levels of radon in your home
1. Your home definitely has radon in it
As we mentioned, all homes have some amount of radon in it. There is almost always a small amount of radon present in indoor air because there is always a small amount of radon present in outdoor aid. Radon will filter through your home but is only concerning at high levels. As there is no such thing as a radon-free house, the only question is how much radon you have. Depending on the country, an acceptable about of radon in your home is 100 Bq/m3, or 2.7 pCi/L according to the World Health Organization. As long as your home has levels under that, there’s no need to worry.
2. Radon does not settle in your basement
Most people assume that because radon gas is heavier than air, it will settle in your basement and hide there in high amounts. This is not true because our homes have so much air movement due to HVAC systems, as well as leaks in the envelope and the movement of people. The air is mixed around in a house quite actively and therefor filters through your home constantly.
3. Radon doesn’t travel far to enter your home
The source of radon gas is not far from your home. The movement of air through the ground is very slow and the half-life of radon is only 3.8 days so most of the radon in your home had to come from within about 20m of the house. In Alberta, the source is likely the glacial till which forms much of our surficial sediment.
4. There is essentially an endless supply of Radon
Since radon is produced from the ground, it is constantly being produced in an essentially continuous unending supply. You can sleep soundly knowing that the amount of radon being produced today on your property is the same as it has been for thousands of years. There has been no increase or decrease of radon being produced.
5. Radon is essentially unrecognizable
Since radon gas at ordinary temperature and pressure is colourless, odourless and flavourless, it’s hard to detect it on your own. It forms when uranium breaks down to radium then in turn, breaks down to form radon. As radon decays, it releases radioactive byproducts that if inhaled, can cause serious health issues. It’s very important to test your home regularly for radon gas as it you may never know your home has it. The only way to identify and test for radon is to buy an in-home test kit or to bring in a professional.
6. We’re still learning about Radon and the effects of it
Although radon has been known about for a long time, radon has only been known to be an issue in homes for about 30 years. A worker on a nuclear plant in the mid-1980s started setting off the radiation alarms when he would come into work. The source of the issue turned out to be high levels of radon from his own home. However, we knew radon was extremely dangerous before that as scientists noted that underground uranium miners died of lung cancer at high rates.
7. You can significantly reduce the levels of radon in your home
The good news is, every home is repairable. Reducing the levels of radon in your home is quick and virtually painless. To guarantee the safety and health of your family and home, we recommend contacting us at Complete Property Restoration to ensure your radon levels are low. We are certified under the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP).
We’ll be there through testing and removal. Because radon is colourless and odourless, testing your home is the only way to determine how much of this dangerous gas you might be exposing yourself to. Lowering radon levels in a home requires specific technical knowledge and skills to ensure the job properly completed. Contact us today to set up an estimate and to start testing your home for radon gas.