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  • Dorothy Bewernick

Radon Gas: Hype Topic or Real Health Threat?

With more and more attention being drawn to the topic of Radon gas it's easy to believe that its just the latest "Health Trend". This could have been said about so many of the health threats previous generations have faced until the research had proven them credible. So too is the case with Radon Gas.

It was discovered in the 1800's but it's negative affects on our health were determined in the 1950's. With more research being done, Radon gas' negative health affects has become extremely clear.

Radon is an IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Group 1 carcinogen, meaning it is a known cancer causing agent. The consensus on the topic of Radon gas exposure is that the less the better, similar to smoking. The point at which the long term risk of lung cancer begins is 100 Bq/m3. The World Health Organization as well as Researchers at the Evict Radon organization suggest acting at this threshold to lower long term risk. Particularly if you have young children or pets in the home. These groups are at higher risk due to their rapidly developing cells as well as higher respiratory rates. The more rapidly you breath in high Radon concentrations the more susceptible your lungs are to the DNA level damage that Radon gas is responsible for. That damage then can turn into cancerous cells resulting in a lung cancer diagnosis.

Statistics to note on Radon gas based on research done by Health Canada, the C-NRPP as well the Evict Radon organization are:

  • One new Cancer diagnosis per day in Alberta related to Radon gas exposure

  • ~3200 deaths per year from Radon related lung cancer in Canada

  • More people die from Radon gas exposure per year than from House Fires, Carbon Monoxide poisoning, drowning and car accidents combined.

  • Lung cancer diagnosis for those living in high Radon environments is 1 in 20. Those who smoke and live in a high Radon environment jump up to a 1 in 3 chance.

  • Western Canadian Prairie provinces are the 2nd most exposed population on the planet for Radon exposure only second to Poland in the world.

The reason Radon gas is such a health threat is due its damage to our lungs on a cellular level. As Radon decays it gives up tiny radioactive particles. As we inhale this air in our homes these particles travel at half the speed of light hitting our lung tissue at speeds that can dent bullet proof plastic. This damage can cause the cell to die or mutate into a cancerous cell. Thus the harm in inhaling air with high levels of radon gas present. This is also why the risk for young children is that much more. Their cells are still developing so quickly and their breathing is a lot faster than that of a mature adult. They also have so much longer to live than adults do, increasing their exposure time for negative health effects of Radon gas.

If you and your family is serious about cancer prevention methods then testing your home and lowering indoor Radon levels should be your first step. Radon related cancers are considered "low hanging fruit" in terms of cancer prevention because of the huge amount of related cases but the easiest cause to remove in people's lives. Radon gas is a Group 1 IARC (International Association for Research on Cancer) carcinogen in the same grouping as Asbestos and Tobacco. So to ask the question is this a real health threat? Our answer is a resounding yes!

Great-West Radon is a "One Stop Shop" for all your Radon related needs. We provide detail-oriented, honest, and reliable radon testing in Calgary by using state-of-the-art tools and technology. From radon mitigation to radon removal, we are the top-rated Radon services company in Calgary, and we are proud of the work we do and the relationships we've created with our clients. We only use the best materials and equipment, ensuring all guidelines set out by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program and Health Canada are being met. If you require radon testing, mitigation, removal, or a radon test kit in Calgary, Great Radon West has you covered.


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