Radon can build up if air circulation is poor, as in a house or other enclosed space. High quantities of radon exposure over time can be harmful. Find out where you might be exposed to high amounts of radon, how to check for it, what effects it might have on your health, and how to remove this radioactive gas.
Toronto radon removal provides radon testing, radon mitigation, radon removal, and other radon-related services.
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium deep in the ground.
It is a byproduct of uranium, thorium, and radium decay that occurs naturally in soil, rock, and water. After it rises up through the ground, it is released into the atmosphere (either indoors or outdoors). Radon is a radioactive gas that lacks odor, taste, and visibility.
How Can You Be Exposed to Radon in Toronto?
Radon can enter your body through your mouth and lungs, or you can ingest it by drinking water that contains radon gas. Radon can be present in any facility, including offices, schools, and homes. Radon exposure is most likely to occur in your home because that is where you spend most of your time.
Radon gas can enter a house through crevices, cracks or holes in the foundation and travel throughout the building. When it slips through the crevices, it can accumulate inside. Well water is another medium for this radioactive gas to use.
Any structure, whether it has a basement, a crawl space, or is built directly on the ground, is at risk of radon contamination. However, it tends to build up in dwellings that are:
● Very well insulated with low air flow
● Sealed air tight
● Situated in a region rich in uranium, thorium, and radium in the earth's crust.
It is estimated, based on nation wide testing, that elevated radon levels are present in 1 home out of every 15 homes in the United States. In Canada it's worse! It's roughly 1 in 5 homes that have high levels of radon.
Use this radon heat map to see if you live in an area known to have high levels of radon. You will see that Toronto and its surrounding areas are mostly situated in zone 1 and zone 2.
The lowest level of a home, or the crawlspace if you have one, is typically the location where radon levels are discovered to be the highest.
How Can You Check Radon in Your House?
It is not sufficient to know that the home next door has been tested for radon because this radioactive gas can vary significantly from one building to another. Testing for radon is the only way to know whether or not there is an unsafe concentration in your house. There are two different types of radon measurements. Let's explore them.
You can take advantage of a short-term test if you are pressed for time. Some of these tests only detect radon levels for two or three days, but others measure levels for up to 90 days. You will need to keep your windows and doors shut as much as possible for the duration of the test, and you should stay away from fans that draw in fresh, outdoor air.
Since radon levels can change daily and month to month, you will get the most accurate findings from a test conducted over an extended period of time. For longer than ninety days, these tests monitor the radon levels in the air. Long-term testing typically requires the utilization of an alpha-track detector as well as an electret ion chamber detector.
In either case, the tests are not expensive and are not difficult to do. You should be able to find one at any of the local hardware stores. Alternatively, you can order a more accurate and reliable DIY test kit here. If you would rather hire a professional radon technician to do a radon measurement for you, reach out to Toronto Radon Removal and we would be happy to help you right away.
If you do end up using a DIY test kit, it is essential to follow the instructions carefully to obtain accurate results. The basement or the main floor are the most common locations used to place the radon detector. There is nothing else you need to right after placing the device.
When the measurement period has completed, it's simply a question of packaging it up as instructed and shipping it back to the lab for examination. You should obtain your results within a couple of weeks after sending it off.
What is the Solution if Your House Contains High Radon?
A radon concentration higher than 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) is considered high risk.
In most cases, it is possible to lower radon levels in a home without employing significant remodeling or shelling out a fortune.
If you discover a high concentration of radon in your house, here are some of the solutions:
Health Canada has a an abundance of comprehensive resources for radon mitigation, including lists of certified professionals and how to get started. We have listed some local radon mitigation companies on our homepage as well.
Even if your radon levels have not reached 4 pCi/L or 200 Bq/m3, you should still give some of these solutions serious thought.
What Are The Symptoms of Being Exposed to Radon?
We can't escape radon because it's everywhere. Even if it's at a low concentration, you still breathe it in daily. Radon is a radioactive gas that poses a threat under high concentrations while being invisible, odorless, and tasteless. Additionally, there won't be any obvious signs to alert you.
Radon exposure may raise the risk of lung cancer, lung fibrosis, emphysema, and chronic interstitial pneumonia, as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported.
Although radon is not directly responsible for increased coughing or shortness of breath, the onset of these lung conditions can result in coughing or shortness of breath.
No specific medical tests can determine how much radon gas you have been exposed to. Because of this, even if you do not smoke, it's important to be aware of lung cancer symptoms and signs.
Consult a doctor if you develop chest pain, a prolonged cough, or cough-up blood. Before it has the potential to spread, lung cancer is easier to treat when it is still in its early stages.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is normally not dangerous. However, if you smoke, prolonged exposure to high radon levels can increase your chance of developing lung cancer.
Don't wait to start testing for radon because it's relatively cheap and simple. There are also effective solutions to make your house a safer environment if you should discover that there is too much radon.
Toronto radon removal offers radon testing, mitigation, and removal services. Contact us here.