Radon is a radioactive gas that is formed naturally by the decomposition of uranium in soil, water and rock. Radon is a colorless, odourless, tasteless gas that is slowly released from the ground, water and some building materials. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) and is rarely determined to be the culprit.
Radon is more of a concern in buildings as opposed to outdoors, as buildings are typically an enclosed space. Radon levels fluctuate seasonally, but are typically higher in the winter months. As buildings are typically sealed at night (less outdoor air intake), radon levels are higher at night than during the day.
Health Canada recommends remedial action be taken if the annual radon concentration in your home or building is greater than 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (200 Bq/m³).
There are a couple of options to determine radon concentrations:
- Short-Term Spot Testing for Real Estate Transactions (<1 day);
- Short-Term Testing (2-7 days); and
- Long-Term Detectors (3-12 months)
Since radon concentrations vary over time, long-term detectors provide a more accurate reading of overall radon levels in your home or building. IES understands that in certain circumstances, faster results are required; such as with real estate transactions. In these circumstances, we do offer radon testing that provides results in as little as 1 hour.
IES’ staff maintain certification by the Canadian Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) and we are long-standing members of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST).
Have questions? See our video or write-up below, or just give us a call!
What is Radon and why should I be concerned?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odourless, tasteless and colourless. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. Radon cannot be quantified without specialized equipment. When radon enters an enclosed space, like your home or office, it can accumulate to elevated concentrations that pose a risk to your health. The most well-known risk of Radon exposure is developing lung cancer. The risk depends on concentration and length of exposure.
How do you test for Radon?
Health Canada recommends long term Radon testing be performed. A long term test ranges between 3 to 12 months, depending on the season the test is begun. A Radon detector is placed in accordance with Health Canada guidelines, left for a specified period of time, and then placed in an airtight container and sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis.
Indoor Environmental recognizes that not every situation allows for 3 to 12 months to run a Radon test, such as with a real estate transaction. Indoor Environmental also offers rapid testing that provides results in as little as 1 hour.
Since radon concentrations vary over time, long-term detectors provide a more accurate reading of overall radon levels in your home or building.
When is the best time to test for Radon?
The ideal testing period is during the heating season, from October to April. During these months, a detector can be placed on site for a period of 3 months. Any other time of year, the detector is placed for 365 days. This is due to generally higher levels of Radon during the heating season, allowing for a worst-case scenario and ensuring Radon levels are not understated.
Indoor Environmental staff maintain certification by the Canadian Radon Proficiency Program and we are long-standing members of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists.
Reach out to Indoor Environmental today if you have any questions or require Radon Testing for your Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton or London-Middlesex property.