Health

Is there radon hiding in your home?

Canadian Living
Health

Is there radon hiding in your home?

Radon CBC News recently reported that many homes across Canada have unhealthy levels of radon gas. In fact, their data shows that about 1,500 homes out of 14,000 had unacceptable levels of radon according to Health Canada guidelines. If you’re unfamiliar with radon, it’s the invisible radioactive gas emitted from the breakdown of uranium in the earth. The gas is pulled into homes (often through cracks in the foundation, gaps around pipes, floor drains, construction joints and sump pumps) due to the difference in air pressure between the homes and the outdoors. Unfortunately, this gas that so easily enters homes is a major cause of lung cancer. It’s known as the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarettes. While the CBC came up with a very helpful map that shows radon levels across the country, it’s important to get your own house tested to find out your true levels. Luckily, you can test your home quite easily by buying a kit online, then leaving the small testing device in your basement (or other low level of your house) for a few months. Then, you simply send the device back to the testing company and await the results from their lab. According to the CBC, the five highest radon readings came from: 1. Armstrong Station, Ont. (5,657 Bq/m3) 2. Bas-Paquetville, N.B. (5,590 Bq/m3) 3. Sparwood, B.C. (2941 Bq/m3) 4. Gaspé, Que. (2,923 Bq/m3) 5. Gooderham, Ont. (2,741 Bq/m3) Meanwhile, the highest recommended radon level, according to Health Canada, is 200 Bq/m3. But there is hope: If your radon test comes back high, you can turn to a process called Active Soil Depressurization, in which a pipe and fan are installed through a hole drilled in the basement floor. This fan pulls the radon gas from the air under your house and pushes it to the outdoors to be dispersed. Get more info about radon from Health Canada and check out our 35 ways to improve your indoor air quality. (Photography: Thinkstock)
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Is there radon hiding in your home?

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