Have you heard of radon gas? It is a naturally occurring gas found in the ground throughout the world and also the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Most homes that are in contact with the ground will contain some amount of radon gas. Radon becomes a concern when it reaches high levels. According to Health Canada, about seven per cent of the Canadian homes have radon levels that may be putting residents at risk. Here in the B.C. Interior we have some "hot spot" areas with high radon levels in approximately 40 per cent of homes.
Radon can enter a home through the foundation, including concrete and more commonly through cracks in a foundation or dirt floor such as in older crawl spaces. It can also enter a home through the ventilation system.
The good news is testing your home is easy and inexpensive. Testing involves placing a small puck-like kit within the lowest area of the home that could be occupied for at least four hours per day. The kit should remain in that location for a minimum of three months and then can be sent to a laboratory to get the results. If your home has high radon levels, basic measures can be taken to address the problem.
Test kits are available for purchase from: BC Lung Association - order online or call 1-800-665-LUNG (5864).
It is cheaper to buy your radon kit from Amazon and includes shipping envelope and results:
More information on radon can be found on the Interior Health website.