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Is radon gas silently killing you?

There’s a lot that goes into being a knowledgeable homeowner. Understanding closing costs, mortgage interest rates and having knowledge about property taxes – these are just some of the basics. But there’s another item that should be common knowledge among homeowners – radon gas, the threat it presents to one’s health, and hiring an environmental expert to see if it’s in your home.

Over the years, Health Canada and other similar organizations have tried to inform the public about the dangers posed by radon.  Unfortunately, many Canadian homeowners remain unaware of its existence, as well as whether it’s an issue in their current home. Hint: an environmental expert can figure it out for you.

What is radon gas?

Radon gas is a radioactive gas that is odourless, colourless and tasteless.  It’s formed naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the soil and slowly released up from the ground. In unenclosed, outdoor spaces, radon gas is a non-issue since it becomes naturally diluted in outdoor air.

However, when radon gas is released from the ground under a home, it can enter a home and accumulate in the home’s enclosed space in much higher concentrations. Higher concentrations of radon can pose a very serious health risk to home occupants. The threat of radon gas becomes that much more serious during winter and during the night when people typically close their windows and doors.


How serious is radon gas to one’s health?

It can be very serious. If one is exposed to radon gas over the long-term, it increases the risk of lung cancer. As reported by Health Canada, an average of 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada are due to radon gas exposure. Moreover, radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country, the first being cigarette smoking, which is why it’s important to be an informed homeowner. It’s not an issue that’s specific to a particular province or region of Canada – any home in any part of the country can have a radon gas issue.

Just because radon gas is pervasive does not mean that it’s without a solution.


Find out if you’re affected

First off, homeowners who are unaware of whether their home has a radon gas problem should get their home tested to measure the concentration level in their home. There are two types of radon gas detectors – long-term radon gas detectors, which are more often recommended and which detect the level of radon over the span of 1 to 12 months. Short-term radon detectors measure radon concentration over the span of 2 to 7 days.environmental2

If it’s determined that the concentration of radon gas in a home is higher than Canada’s acceptable level of concentration, homeowners should strongly consider installing a radon gas mitigation system in their home. A mitigation system uses a fan to draw radon gas out from under the home and push it outside. The cost of installing a radon mitigation system, which runs from $1,500 to $3,000, should seem like a wise investment, especially when considering the risk of long-term radon exposure.

For more information on radon gas and radon gas mitigation systems, visit Health Canada‘s informational resource on the topic.

Is your home healthy? Contact one of our environmental experts who can assess the health of your home. They’ll determine a plan of action to eliminate the problem and keep you safe.

This article was produced by

About the Author: Born and raised in Toronto, Rob Wilson has been working as a journalist for over five years.  A graduate of York University, Rob’s first passion was in new technology and computer programming. At university, Rob became increasingly interested in journalism and in following the latest technology trends. Over the past five years, Rob has merged his interest in technology and writing through his independent journalism work. Rob particularly has a passion for covering search engine optimization related stories and new media.

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