Among the homeowners in Alberta, radon testing might not be top of mind as it should be to maintain the health of the household. But radon is a carcinogenic gas that’s undetectable to the naked eye, making its presence unidentifiable to all homeowners. Radon is hazardous in high levels as it can cause lung cancer long-term. Because of the dangers radon can pose to all households, it is paramount to know all the facts. To prevent high-level radon exposure and potential radiation sensitivity illness in the home, there are tests that can be done to determine the amount of radon gas currently in your home.
What Is Radon?
Radon results from a breakdown in uranium within the ground, producing gas. There is no way for radon to be detected with the naked eye, and it can accumulate in any confined space where it will eventually become highly hazardous. Radon can be found everywhere, even in outdoor areas, but at varying levels that may not prove dangerous to anyone's health.
We label an excess of certain readings as actionable levels since doing nothing would risk your household’s long-term health. If you’re in Calgary, your home is more likely to have actionable levels just by virtue of the land we live on and how we build our homes.
When Exposures Happen
A little-known fact is that Calgary, Alberta, Canada is home to the second highest average home radon levels in the world, second only to parts of Poland. The heating season (winter) also exacerbates the risk of radon accumulation, which is where health risks have the potential to develop. That means your Calgary and area home is quite likely to trap this hazardous gas without your knowledge.
High radon levels happen because of tiny ingresses within a home's structure, cracks and voids in the concrete slab. Radon gas is found in spaces in the home that have a significant surface area of concrete coming into contact with the soil, which is why bungalows tend to have higher radon levels. Radon can also permeate the home through the cracks in the home foundation and walls. Cracks and holes in the home’s slab can often be established in the foundation for pipes and utility lines, both of which can serve as entry points leading to high levels of radon seeping into the home. These particular structural issues are usually repaired during radon mitigation to reduce your risk of exposure to radon.
Why You Should Be Concerned
Although radon can be a common presence in many areas at low levels, there is still much to be concerned about when no one knows for certain whether or not they've been exposed to it. According to My Health Alberta, over 4000 Canadians die per year from lung cancer caused by radon.
This makes radon the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths, second only to tobacco use. Because radon exposure isn't something you can sense by touch, taste, sight, smell, or sound, many won't even realize they've been exposed to dangerous amounts of radon until it’s too late. Radon exposure symptoms are that of lung cancer, which is why prevention is key.
You can purchase your testing kit on Great West Radon’s online store for about $45 and up. The benefit to purchasing with a C-NRPP professional is the support and education throughout the process. Purchasing from a big box store leaves you without a source for questions or concerns. The recommended long-term test will monitor your home for 90 days and up to 1 year, measuring the radon levels in the air, and giving you a detailed report, indicating if the levels are actionable or not.
Health Canada says that no area within a home should exceed 200 becquerels per cubic square metre (or 200 Bq/m3). The World Health Organization recommends action at even lower levels (100 bq/m3). Either way, if any inside area is above 100 Bq/m3, you should take action as as that is the point at which you start seeing a significant increase in long term lung cancer risk. Scheduling a professional installation of a Radon mitigation system to minimize potential health risks is the best way to reduce your home’s radon levels. Your household’s health is well worth drastic action, and we’re here to make it as low stress as possible, from testing and monitoring, to mitigation and reduction.
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. But we do much more than basic radon detection. 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.