You may experience symptoms of exposure to radon; an invisible, odorless, smokeless radioactive gas. Radon gas is created from the decay of uranium in the earth’s crust. In the outdoors, radon is not dangerous for human health. However, radon can seep through any openings in contact with the ground such as possible cracks near the foundation of a house. Radon can affect any Canadian homes since it is present on all the Canadian territory.
Its exposure over a long period of time and at high intensity may cause lung cancer. In fact, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking (Health Canada 2017).In this article we will be covering the dangers of radon on health and the symptoms of radon exposure.
What are the symptoms of radon exposure?
On a short-term basis, radon exposure can give you these symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Trouble swallowing
Source (Safe Air Environmental Inc.)
On the long run, being exposed to high concentrations of radon and not acting to remediate to the situation leads to lung cancer.
When there is a presence of radon in a well isolated enclosed space, radon can accumulate at dangerous concentrations for human health. When inhaled, this radioactive gas produces micro explosions in the soft tissue of the lungs. In the long run, inhaled radon gas can damage the lung cells and become cancerous (Safe Air Environmental Inc.)
During winter months, houses are heated and shut which can cause radon levels to rise considerably. Gases that normally stay outside during the summertime will try to enter your home because of the air pressure difference, due to the difference in temperatures between the inside and outside.
Why is Taking Care of Radon Important?
Since radon is invisible you might be exposed to radon without being aware of it. You should test your home for radon to protect your health and your family’s. If you aren’t smoking and are experiencing some of the symptoms above symptoms, you should test your house immediately and speak with a healthcare professional.
Don’t wait to undergo symptoms before testing your home and test it now.
Breathing 370 bq/m3 of radon is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes per dayC-NRPP
The Canadian government sets the threshold at a concentration of 200 Bq/m3 after which they recommend taking corrective measures to avoid fatal impacts if exposed for too long (Health Canada 2020).
Radon Mitigation Systems
If your test results show radon levels above 200 Bq/m3 or any other number you feel unsafe with, contact a C-NRPP certified professional to install a radon mitigation system.
A mitigation system will extract the radon gas from under the slab of your home and send it outside where it will be dissipated into the atmosphere where it is harmless for human health.
According to the C-NRPP, 93% of radon mitigation systems were able to reduce radon levels to 50 Bq/m3 (Radon Reduction Sweepstakes Report 2019). The 7% remaining were able to lower radon levels to less than 200 Bq/m3.
How to Test Your Home For Radon?
There are several ways to test your home for radon
Long-term Radon Test
AlphaTrack AT-100 dosimeters, are long term radon tests recommended by Health Canada and the C-NRPP. The test period has to be at least 90 days or more. The device is installed in a room at ground or basement level where someone from your household spends at minimum 4 hours a day. This test will provide a very accurate annual average of radon concentration levels.
Short-Term Radon Test
On the other hand, the short-term test provides a precise, detailed and certified analysis of radon levels. Installed by one of our radon professional, the CorentiumPro radon detector by Airthings collects data over a minimum of 48 hours, after which it is picked up and analysed by our certified C-NRPP professional. Customer received their certified report withing 5 to 7 days business days. Although it has a 5% margin of error, the detector will indicate if your home has high radon levels dangerous to human health or not. To validate radon levels beyond any doubt, a long-term test is included with every purchase.
Every homeowner puts his health and his family’s at risk when not testing or mitigating radon. Help us in our quest and talk about health risks to people around you.
Learn more about radon on our blog.
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