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About Radon

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas found naturally in the environment. It is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium commonly found in rocks and soils. Because radon is a gas, it can easily move through small spaces in soils and other materials, allowing it to enter the air we breathe, both outdoors and inside buildings. In the outdoors, radon mixes with large volumes of fresh air and is diluted to low concentrations. However, if radon enters an enclosed poorly ventilated space in a building, it can accumulate to levels that, can pose a risk to health. Health Canada recommends that you take action to reduce the level of radon in your home if the level is above the guideline of 200 Bq/m3 (Becquerels per cubic meter).

Diagram of Radon paths of entry into a home


How does Radon enter your home or workspace?

Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than in the soil surrounding the foundation. This difference in pressure draws air and other gases, including radon, from the soil into your home. Radon can enter an home any lace it finds an opening where the house contacts the soil: cracks in foundation walls and in floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes, support posts, window casements, floor drains, sump or cavities inside walls.

Radon can also be found in groundwater from private or small community wells. Radon produced in the ground can dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources such as wells. When water containing radon is agitated during daily household use, showering, clothes washing or cooking, the radon gas could be released into the air. Research has shown that drinking water which contains radon is far less harmful than breathing the gas. The health risk does not come from consuming the radon, but from inhaling the gas.

What are the health risks?

Radon gas breaks down or decays to form radioactive elements that can be inhaled into the lungs. In the lungs, decay continues, creating radioactive particles that release small bust of energy. This energy is absorbed by nearby lung tissue, damaging the lung cells. When the cell are damaged, they have the potential to result in cancer when they reproduce.

Exposure to high levels of radon in indoor air results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The risk depends on the level of radon and how long a person is exposed to those levels. Exposure to radon and tobacco together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer.

Carefree Properties Inc. Specialist Radon Testing and Other Property Maintenance Services in Halifax Nova Scotia.
Address: 6272 Willow Street, Halifax, NS B3L 1N9 Tel: (902) 802-4555

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