All About Radon
Radon test kits are available at EcoSuperior for $35. We accept cash or debit, Monday to Friday 8:30 - 4:30, at 562 Red River Road at Hill Street.
Or purchase on-line by clicking here. On-line purchased kits will be mailed to you from Radon Environmental in Vancouver, B.C. The link provided gives EcoSuperior customers a 20% discount on single test kits.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is caused by the breakdown of uranium in soil. You can't see, smell or taste it. Radon enters homes through pipes, drains and foundation cracks. Outside, radon gas disperses into fresh air and is harmless, but indoors, it can accumulate to hazardous levels that can cause cancer.
Radon accounts for 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canadians. And the news is worse for smokers exposed to radon, who have a 1 in 3 chance of developing lung cancer, compared to a 1 in 10 chance for smokers not exposed to radon. For non-smokers exposed to radon, the cancer rate is 1 in 20. Click here for a video, Janet's Story, to learn how one woman, a non-smoker, was shocked to receive a diagnosis of lung cancer.
The only way to know whether your home has radon is to test it. The age, size or location of your home does not determine whether you have radon. Whether your house has a basement, crawlspace, or is built slab-on-grade does not make any difference. If your neighbour has tested and found high levels of radon, it does not mean your house will have high levels too. The only way to know whether your home has radon is to test it.
How do I test my home?
Complete instructions are included with your kit. The testing unit is a small hockey-puck size unit with holes in the top. The unit should be placed according to instructions in the lowest level of your home that is occupied 4 or more hours per day. The unit should be left undisturbed for 3 months. Then you seal the top with the provided sticker, place the unit in the return package provided, and mail to the laboratory. Test results will be sent to you by return mail.
Prefer to have a professional conduct your test? Contact a C-NRPP certified measurement professional.
What do the test results mean?
Radon is measured in Becquerels per cubic meter. A test result above the Health Canada guideline of 200 Bq/m3 should be confirmed by a certified professional tester, and remediation measures implemented within 2 years. A measurement above 600 Bq/m3 means the home should be fixed within 1 year.
How do you fix a home with high radon levels?
If your home has high levels, you need to contact a C-NRPP certified mitigation professional. The professional will asses your house to find the best remediation option. The most common method is active soil depressurization, which typically reduces radon levels by 90% or more.
Although there are currently no locally-based mitigation professionals, three certified professionals, Cenlo Enterprises (based out of Sault Ste Marie), RadonProz, and RadonMatters (both based out of Winnipeg) have confirmed that they are servicing homes in the Thunder Bay area. In order to make travel costs economical, these professionals sometimes book several homes in the Thunder Bay area to service during one visit.
Where can I learn more about Radon?