Have you been thinking about testing your home for radon? As it happens, the ideal time to test for radon is between the months of October and April. The reason for this is that the windows and doors to your home generally remain closed due to cold weather. By keeping the doors and windows shut, radon gas builds up, which allows you to get a more accurate reading of the radon level in your home.
Radon is an invisible, odourless, and tasteless gas that is produced naturally in soil and rock as uranium breaks down. Due to its nature, radon can accumulate to high levels indoors and pose a serious health risk to you and your family. Long-term exposure to radon increases your risk of developing lung cancer and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. For this reason, The Lung Association, Alberta and NWT is striving to raise awareness of the risk associated with radon exposure and wants to make test kits easily accessible.
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The amount of radon in your home varies. The only way to know if you and your loved ones are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer due to radon exposure is to test your home. Testing is both easy and inexpensive. It requires placing a radon test kit in the lowest level of a home (such as a basement or main floor) where it will not be disturbed. Health Canada recommends long-term testing, lasting a minimum of three months. Once the testing period is over, the detector is collected and mailed to a laboratory for analysis and results.
Photo depicts actual size of radon detector.
If radon levels in the home are higher than the Health Canada guideline (200 becquerels per cubic metre or Bq/m³), it is recommended that you take appropriate measures to decrease the radon levels. Health Canada recommends reducing radon levels to as low as possible during remediation, as there is still a small risk from radon levels below the guideline.