on the Radioactive Risk
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An Underrated Gas
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It emanates from the decay of uranium in the earth's crust. When radon is emitted into the outdoor air, it is diluted and does not pose a hazard to human health. However, in confined spaces such as homes, it can accumulate in concentrations dangerous to human health, greatly increasing the risk of developing serious diseases, such as lung cancer (Health Canada, 2020). The higher the level of radon, the more it poses a risk to your health and your family’s. Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is impossible to detect it by the senses. The only way to determine the radon level in your home is to test it. Health Canada recommends that corrective measures be taken when the average annual radon concentration exceeds 200 Bq/m³ in occupied spaces of a home.Order a Test
Radon in Figures
A silent, dangerous, and fatal threat present everywhere in Quebec
1st cause of lung cancer among non-smokersHealth Canada
16 % of lung cancer deaths are caused by radon gasAssociation pulmonaire du Québec
Breathing 370 Bq/m³ is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes per dayPNCR-C
Radon measure above which radon becomes a danger in your homeHealth Canada
In Quebec, near 20% of homes have a high radon concentration requiring an interventionAssociation pulmonaires du Québec, TVA nouvelles
Still not convinced of the dangers of radon, listen to the episode “Le radon : une menace trop ignorée” from the show La Facture.
A widespread gas
Where is Radon?
Uranium is a common element found across Canada at irregular and varying levels. Although some regions are known to have a greater presence of radon, it is recognized by Health Canada and the PNCR-C that radon is found everywhere in Canada, therefore potentially in any buildings in Canada. Radon concentrations will vary from building to building, even if they are similar in design and if they are nearby. Too high a concentration of radon inside your home endangers your health and that of those close to you.Order a Test
Quebec is late
The major health organizations around the world are unanimous; Exposure to radon gas is dangerous to human health. Health Canada, like other organizations, set the danger threshold at 200 Bq/m3 or less. Beyond this threshold, exposure to radon considerably increases the risk of developing pathologies. In shattering contradiction to the rest of the world, the Quebec construction code (2010) sets the danger threshold at 800 Bq/m3. Do not wait before it's too late. Test and take corrective action if you have concentrations exceeding 200 Bq/m3 in accordance with the recommendations issued by Health Canada.
An invisible and odorless gas
How Does Radon get in our Homes?
Released directly from the ground into the outside air, radon dissolves quickly and poses no threat to humans. On the other hand, the atmospheric pressure inside your home is generally lower than that of the soil surrounding the foundation. The pressure difference causes different gases to be sucked inside the house, including radon. Radon can enter a building through all openings in contact with the ground: cracks in foundation walls, in floor slabs, spaces around pipes, construction joints, support studs, frame, floor drains, sumps and cavities in the walls. Although radon concentrations are potentially higher in winter because our windows are closed and sometimes even saddled, it is recommended to test from 91 days to 12 months, under normal living conditions.