What is Radon?
Radon is an invisible, odourless, and tasteless radioactive gas that is found naturally in soil and rock from the breakdown of uranium.
High levels of radon found indoors can be a health risk to you and your family.
Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can lead to lung cancer making it the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) overall.
There is no evidence that radon exposure causes respiratory diseases such as asthma, or symptoms such as persistent coughing or headaches.
Why does this matter in Alberta?
A recent Canadian survey on radon and indoor air quality reported that Albertans are the least likely to know about radon.
What can you do?
It's simple. The only way to know if you have high radon is to test.
Testing is easy.
The Lung Association of Alberta & NWT (TLA) recommends testing for three months with a long-term radon test kit.
You can purchase a test kit from The Lung Association for $45. This includes the test kit, associated instructions for use, and laboratory testing fees. To inquire about purchasing a radon test kit, please contact:
Amy Elefson, Program Specialist – Environment and Health
(780) 488-6995 ext. 2252 (Edmonton Area)
(888) 566-LUNG (5864) ext. 2252 (Toll Free – Outside Edmonton)
Radon test kits can also be purchased at your local Home Hardware location. If there is no stock on the shelf, ask the store to order one from their warehouse for you.
How to Test
We recommend that you place the radon test kit in the lowest level of a home (such as a basement or main floor) for a period of three months where it will not be disturbed.
After three months, collect the detector and mail it to a laboratory for analysis and results.
For complete testing instructions, click here
My home has high radon levels. What do I do?
If your home has high radon levels (200 Becquerels per cubic metre is the Canadian radon guideline), TLA suggests that you contact a certified radon mitigator.
A certified radon mitigator is a contractor or individual who is trained to fix your home and lower the amount of radon indoors.
Four businesses in Alberta have certified radon mitigators on staff:
Radon Controls Inc.
Radon West Ltd.
PHH ARC Environmental Ltd.
C5 Plus Ltd.
The Lung Association's Radon Awareness Campaign (2013/2014)
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2012-2013 Radon Awareness Campaign!
To learn more about TLA’s Radon Awareness Campaigns, click here.
Additional Links - Consumers
Visit Health Canada or call 1-800-622-6232
Visit The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT's clean air resource centre for other downloadable resources about radon.
Additional Links - Home Industry Professionals
Visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation website to learn more about radon mitigation.
Health Canada provides a radon reduction guide for professional contractors.
The Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists website is a great place to find information on radon in general, as well as measurement and mitigation.
If you are a mitigator interested in becoming certified, please refer to the new Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program.
*** The above video courtesy of SHAW TV Edmonton***