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Radon Gas in Your Home
Radon is a radioactive gas that is colourless, odourless and tasteless. Radon is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in soil, rock and groundwater around your home. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor open air, it gets diluted to low concentrations and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like your home basement, it can sometimes accumulate to high levels, which can be a risk to the health of you and your family.
If you own a home, there are a few things you should understand about Radon gas. It is present in the ground and usually is absorbed into the basement first and if it has made it into your home detection in the basement is the first place that you will usually find the highest concentration of the radon gas. Radon gas also finds its way into your home from cracks in the actual foundation floor or walls of your basement. Radon gas can seep in from gaps around pipes and from sump pools that are not capped properly can lead to very high levels of Radon gas. Radon gas is a very serious killer, in fact it is the second leading cause of lung cancer which means your home should be tested to make sure you are not exposed to the deadly toxin.
Health Canada recommends that your home is tested over a minimum three month period, to determine insure how much you are potentially exposed to as Radon levels can fluctuate significantly from day to day. Testing of the gas should be done when your home is sealed up tight, like in the fall or winter period.
Many home supply stores sell kits that need to be left in your home undisturbed for three months and then sent to a laboratory to be tested for Radon gas.
For more information about radon and other potential hazards in the home you can visit www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/Hazardcheck or call 1 800 O-CANADA.