Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally produced underground, by the breakdown of uranium. The gas is both colourless and odourless, so homeowners have no way of knowing if it is present in their home. When Radon is released into the air, it is diluted and spread out so it poses no real health threats, but when the gas is released into a confined space, like your home it is a different story.
Radon in Your Home
Radon gas can enter your home in virtually any spot where the house and soil meet and there is an opening. Some of the most common radon entry points include:
- Floor drains
- Foundation cracks in walls or floors
- Gaps around service pipes
- Construction joints
- Window casements
- Gaps around support posts
- Basement dirt floors
The amount of radon released into your home is dependent upon a few critical factors. The amount of uranium in the ground underneath your home, how many radon entry points are in your home and how well the home is ventilated all play a major role.
Health Risks of Radon Gas
Long-term exposure to radon has been linked to the development of lung cancer, even among non-smokers. Some estimates put the risk of developing lung cancer for non-smokers who have been exposed to high levels of radon at 1 in 20. If that person happens to be a smoker, the risk jumps to 1 in 3.
After smoking, radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer cases. Not everyone who is exposed to radon will develop lung cancer, but if the levels of radon in your home are high and you’ve been exposed for a number of years, the risks multiply. If you smoke and are exposed to radon, the health risks rise significantly.
Benefits of Professional Radon Testing
Since anyone can be a victim of long-term radon gas exposure without even knowing it, and the health risks are so serious, professional radon testing may end up saving your life. Most homes in Canada have some radon, but the levels can vary from home to home, even if the houses are next door to one another.
The main benefits of professional radon testing include:
· Detecting dangerous levels of radon before they cause serious health problems
· Highest degree of testing accuracy
· Creating a radon-reduction plan to help reduce current levels
According to health Canada, the best time of year to test for radon gas in your home is between September and April, because your windows are closed most of the time and the ventilation levels are lowest. If you’re interested in discovering the levels of radon gas in your home, contact Steam Canada in London Area to set up an appointment for professional testing.