No matter if your home is 50 years old or brand new, your property may emit high levels of radon gas. According to the World Health Organization, radon is the second most prominent cause of cancer.
Homeowners can find research online that outlines through maps where radon emissions are higher. Although this is a good tool for researchers, this is not an accurate way to tell if radon is a problem in your home. In fact, home inspectors have found entirely different levels between homes on the same street.
If you’re purchasing a home, it is best to seek a qualified professional to conduct radon testing prior to securing the property. If levels are high, mitigation can be discussed.
It is important to note that radon testing is not a legal requirement when selling a home. If you’re purchasing a home, you may want to make an offer based on the condition that radon testing is performed prior to and if levels come back high, the offer is void.
Since radon is an invisible and odourless gas, it is impossible to detect without the proper tools. Every homeowner should be aware of the possible health risks to their family if the home has never been tested. Since people typically spend a majority of their time indoors, high radon levels can cause cancer in both smokers and nonsmokers due to long-term exposure.Currently, there are no regulations protecting homeowners in regards to radon exposure. In fact, there are only guidelines on thresholds, which differ from the World Health Organization’s limits. Health Canada recommends radon levels are below 200 Bq/m3.
Radon can also be an existing issue within the workplace. Radon can enter through any building, regardless of size. There are no current legal obligations on the employer to perform radon testing. However, it is recommended to test in order to comply with the Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material Guidelines.
Although the government has made a decent effort to inform the public on the harsh realities of radon, Canada is incredibly behind in addressing the issue. Without proper legislation, radon will continue to enter homes and lung cancer diagnosis will continue.
As a homeowner, your best level of action is to have testing performed. Even if levels are high in your home, there are removal services, which can decrease your family’s risk instantly.
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