Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces like homes, it can sometimes accumulate to high levels, which can be a risk to the health of you and your family.
Radon 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 bursts of energy. This energy is absorbed by nearby lung tissue, damaging the lung cells. When cells 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 of cancer depends on the level of radon and how long a person is exposed to those levels.
Radon can enter a home any place 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, sumps or cavities inside walls.
Radon is found across Canada, because it occurs naturally in soil. Concentrations differ greatly and some amount of radon is found in almost every home, but concentration levels will vary from one house to another, even if they are similar and next door to each other. The current Canadian guideline for radon indoor air is 200 Becquerels per cubic meter (200 Bq/m3). The only way to be sure of the radon level in your home is to have it tested.
Radon mitigation is any process used to reduce radon gas concentrations in the breathing zones of occupied buildings. Mitigation of radon in the air is accomplished through ventilation, either collected below a concrete floor slab or membrane on the ground or by increasing the air changes per hour in the building.
Bergmann Plumbing & Heating Ltd. is C-NRPP certified (Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program) and able to provide you with testing as well as mitigation.