Radon is a colourless and odourless gas which is produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. When out in the open air, it doesn’t present much of a health hazard. However, radon is known to find its way into our homes through cracks in foundation walls and floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes, support posts, window casements and floor drains. When that happens, the gas can become a health hazard.

How does radon become a health hazard?

Once entered into a home, radon has the ability to become concentrated in tight spaces. When found in high concentrations, it has the potential to lead to a number of respiratory illnesses including the worst of them all, lung cancer. Radon, in fact, is actually the second highest leading cause of lung cancer. Not surprisingly, cigarette smoking is the number one cause. Smokers, therefore, are more susceptible to the negative health effects associated with radon.

“It is estimated that a non-smoker exposed to high levels of radon over a lifetime has a one in 20 chance of developing lung cancer,” reports Health Canada, “That estimate increases to one in three for a smoker exposed to high levels of radon over a lifetime.”

Unquestionably, all cigarette smokers should quit their bad habits in order to promote optimum health. This, in addition to minimizing the entrance of radon into the home, is a measure that should be taken to prevent harm.

How can radon exposure be minimized?

Number one: Do what you can to prevent possible radon entry points into your home. Look for cracks and gaps in the foundation of the house. Number two: Keep your home well ventilated. In an effort to avoid high concentrations of any dangerous gases, it’s wise to maintain good ventilation throughout your home all throughout the year. Making it a general rule of thumb will work wonders in improving your home’s overall indoor air quality.

An easy way to promote good ventilation is to crack open your windows – yes, even in the winter! As HealthStatus.com assures us, “you won’t die from the cold if you crack windows open a bit. You might want to install an in-window air exchange system that pulls in filtered outside air without letting heated air escape.”

Can radon be completely avoided?

Don’t get startled, but Health Canada reminds us that nearly every Canadian home has some traces of radon in it. The levels vary from home to home even if they are located right beside each other. It’s important, therefore, to have the levels of radon in your home tested by a certified professional. “The only way to know if you have a radon problem is to test your home,” they insist, “It is simple and inexpensive.”

At Enviro-Works Inc., we couldn’t agree more. Our team can help you avoid the dangers associated with radon exposure. We offer both long-term and short-term Radon Testing using the E-Perm Electret System and a C-NRPP Certified Radon Lab. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 780-457-4652 or email us at info@enviro-works.com.