Radon information

What is radon?

  • Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from uranium in the ground that can get into your home undetected. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it.
  • All homes have some level of radon. The question is how much and the only way to know is to test.
  • In confined spaces like a house, radon can build up to high levels and over time become a health risk.
  • The current Canadian guideline for radon is 200 becquerels per cubic meter (200 Bq/m3).

Figure 1. How can radon get into my home?

Figure 1. How can radon get into my home? Text description follows.

What are health risks?

  • Radon exposure is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. 16% of lung cancers are estimated to be from radon exposure, resulting more than 3,000 lung cancer deaths in Canada each year.
  • People who smoke and are exposed to radon have an even higher risk of lung cancer.
  • The health risk from radon is long-term not immediate. The longer you are exposed to high levels of radon, the greater your risk.

How do I test my home for radon?

  • Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive.
  • Testing can be done by purchasing a do-it-yourself radon test kit or by a measurement professional that is certified under the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP).
  • Radon levels in a home can vary significantly over time so you need to do a long term test, for 3 months, ideally during the fall or winter time.
  • Go to TakeActiononRadon.ca to find a test kit or certified professional.

Figure 2. Annual Deaths in Canada

Figure 2. Annual Deaths in Canada. Text description follows.
Figure 2 - Text Description

My home tested above the 200 Bq/M3 limit, what now?

  • Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. Radon levels can be reduced by more than 80% for about the same cost as other common home repairs such as replacing the furnace or air conditioner.
  • The higher the radon level in your home, the sooner it needs to be fixed.
  • Hire a certified radon mitigation professional to help you find the best way to reduce the radon level in your home. The most common radon reduction method is active soil depressurisation (ASD).
  • Go to c-nrpp.ca to find a certified mitigation professional.
  • Close to 10% of Canadian homes will have radon levels above the guideline, the only way to know is to test

For more information on radon, visit canada.ca/radon or www.takeactiononradon.ca