FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Safeguard Radon Testing is a division of Armada Inspection Services.
Please visit www.armadainspectionservices.ca for more information
Radon is a serious issue that requires this dedicated website.
Website Links for additional Radon information-
What is Radon and where does it come from?
Radon is a radioactive gas. It is produced from the radioactive decay of natural uranium in rocks and soil, and as a gas it works it’s way up until it reaches the surface. Outdoors, radon is quickly diluted by atmospheric mixing and is no further concern. However, in confined spaces such as residential homes and commercial buildings, radon can accumulate to harmful levels. Long-term exposure to elevated indoor radon concentrations has been determined to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in adults after tobacco smoking. This is according to the World Health Organizations (WHO) WHO handbook on indoor radon, dated 2009.
How does Radon enter our home?
It enters our homes and places of work through cracks in the foundation, sump pump wells, well water, and entry points at or below ground level. Once in your home, it builds up until it reaches high concentration points. Anyone who then breathes the radon in can subject anyone who is exposed to the gas to its progeny. These are radioactive heavy metals that stick to the lungs and continue to decay emitting radioactive particles directly into the lungs.
How many Canadians are estimated to die from Lung Cancer caused by radon exposure every year?
Based on the statistics collected by Health-Canada, the Lung Association and the Canadian Cancer Society, it is estimated that 3,600 Canadians die from lung cancer every year because of exposure to radiation from radon. In Ontario, according to Ministry of Health statistics, that works out to 848 Ontarian’s every year. In the seven year period from 2000 and 2007, across Canada 74 people died from Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. That’s less than 8 per year. We now have mandatory requirements for CO detectors to be in every home in Canada. This came into effect in April 2015. This is a good thing. We lose one hundred times this number EVERY YEAR in Ontario from radiation brought into our lives by radon and we do……..nothing!
What is the risk of developing Lung Cancer from Radon?
According to research documented by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the risk of developing lung cancer increases with radon concentration and duration of exposure. Even though lung cancer does not normally occur in childhood, exposure to radon during childhood increases the lifetime risk of developing lung cancer later in life. The Canadian National Radon Program lowered the Canadian guidelines from 800 to 200 Bq/m3 (becquerel per cubic meter) in 2007. At a level of 200 Bq/m3 there are 200 radioactive decays in every cubic meter of air, EVERY SECOND! It only takes one radioactive decay action to cause 1 cell in the body to be deformed at the DNA level to start the chain reaction that develops into a cancerous tumor. Do you know how many you just breathed in while reading this? With any luck, zero.
What is a ‘safe’ level or Radon in your home?
The true answer is 0 Bq/m3, Health-Canada have been pushing the 200 Bq/m3 guideline level for remediation for years now. The problem is that the majority of our neighbours believe that any level that is lower than 200 Bq/m3 is safe. It’s not. To put the numbers into perspective, an annual radon level of approx. 410 Bq/m3 in your home is equal in radiation exposure as if you had a full chest CT scan annually.
What is the average cost of a professionally performed short term Radon test?
The average cost of a short-term radon test, performed by a professional costs only around $250 (plus taxes). When you consider this type of test requires two visits to the home, sampling devices and a qualified laboratory analysis, that’s cheap.