Radon Gas Testing

Is it in your home?

Radon is the #1 cause of Lung Cancer in non-smokers. Radon is a colorless, oderless gas found normally in soil that can accumulate in enclosed spaces such as homes, schools, and workplace. Buildings with high radon levels can be remediated to reduce expose to people living and working in them.

Although smoking is the #1 cause of lung cancer, more than one in five people in Ontario diagnosed with lung cancer never smoked. The second leading cause of lung cancer is exposure to radon in houses and buildings. Secondhand smoke and asbestos are also amoung the top causes.

What is radon?

Radon is a naturally forming, radioactive, colorless, oderless and tasteless gas. It is found in almost all soil, and is produced by a natural process as uranium breaks down into radium and then in radon gas. Radon in turn breaks down into solid radiactive elements known as "Radon progeny: that attach to airborne elements.

Radon and your health

Because they are radioactive, radon and radon progeny emit alpha particles, a high-energy radiation that damages DNA in human cells and causes lung cancer. When radon is inhaled, particles become lodged in the lungs where they continue to emit alpha particles. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the U.S., after secondhand smoke exposure.

Mechanism of Lung Cancer Induction

Radong and Radon Decay Products (RDPS) breathed in

Radon exhaled

RDPs remain stuck to lung tissue

RDPs emit alpha particles

Alpha particles strike lung cells causing physical and/or chemical damage to DNA

Alpha particles are strong enough to pit plastic

Photo: Dr. J.F. Burkhart

Plastic chip from passive radon test (alpha track)

3 months at 150 Bq/m3

Magnified only 100 times

The Radon Testing Process

All testing is conducted by a Certified Radon Measurement Professional. Our testing protocols are consistent with Health Canada's guidelines.

Short-term test

2-7 days

 

Long-term test

91+ days

As per Health Canada's recommendations, a long-term test lasting at least 91 days provides the most reliable measurement of annual radon exposure.

Radon levels may vary even within a day, week or even season; short-term radon tests measure a snapshot of radon levels that may not be representative of the average annual levels of exposure. Measurements taken over a long-term period measure the best average level of exposure.

Mitigation decisions should only be based on long-term test.

What results should i expect?

The concentration of indoor radon is measured in becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3) 

  • Lifelong smoker: 1 in 10

  • Lifelong smoker + radon: 1 in 3

  • Non-smoker + radon: 1 in 20