What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. Since radon can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted, it can get into your home undetected. In outdoor air, radon is diluted and therefore not a concern. But in confined spaces like your house, radon can build up to high levels and become a health risk.
Radon can enter your home any place where the house touches the soil and there is an opening.
Possible entry points into your home include:
- cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs
- construction joints
- gaps around service pipes
- support posts
- window casements
- floor drains
- sumps or cavities inside walls
- dirt floors
The amount of radon in your home will depend on many factors:
- the amount of uranium in the ground
- the number of entry points into your home
- how well your home is ventilated
Radon exposure increases your risk of developing lung cancer. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
Your risk of cancer depends on several factors:
- the level of radon in your house
- how long you are exposed
- whether you smoke (exposure to radon and tobacco use together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer)
Testing for radon
Almost every home in Canada has some radon. But the levels vary from one house to another, even if they are next door to each other.
The only way to know if you have a radon problem is to test your home.