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Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Experts

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We tend to not pay attention to things we can’t see, smell or taste. And why would we? If something is invisible, odourless and tasteless, there’s nothing to pay attention to, is there? Such is not the situation when it comes to radon. The dangerous gas can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, but it certainly requires our attention.

According to the Canadian Lung Association, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. Exposure to the gas is estimated to be the cause of 16 percent of lung cancers. Radon damages our lungs through its radioactive particles. When inhaled, they can damage the cells that line our lungs. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer, especially for those who are cigarette smokers.

How is radon created?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas. When the uranium in the soil, rock and water outside of our homes breaks down, radon is created. The gas isn’t dangerous when it mixes with the air outside of our homes. However, when it seeps into our homes through cracks and other openings, it can become trapped in enclosed spaces. Radon in high concentrations can be harmful. This is just one of the many reasons ventilation in your home is so important.

The lower levels of your home including its main floor and its basement are the areas that are most susceptible to the presence of radon. If you have unfinished floors or cracks in the basement floor or foundation, you may be offering radon entry into your home. As well, radon is known to enter homes through pipes, windows and sump pumps.

How does radon increase the risk of lung cancer?

Radon sits number two on the list behind cigarette smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer. Studies have shown that radon has carcinogenic properties. They are exacerbated by cigarette smoke, which we all know is full of toxic chemicals. As the Government of Canada informs us, an individual’s risk of getting lung cancer from radon depends on three factors: the level of radon, the duration of exposure and his/her smoking habits.

“If inhaled, radon decay products can become deeply lodged in the lungs, where they emit ionizing radiation which can penetrate the cells of mucous membranes, bronchi, and other pulmonary tissues,” they explain on Canada.ca, “The ionizing radiation energy affecting the bronchial epithelial cells is believed to initiate the process of carcinogenesis.”

How important is it to test for radon?

As the Canadian Lung Association explains, radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). “If your home’s radon level is less than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada radon guidelines say that no action is required,” their site notes, “However, even low levels of radon can be harmful. It’s a good idea to try to lower your home’s radon level as much as possible, even if it’s already below 200 Bq/m3.”

Clearly, taking steps to prevent lung cancer is a vitally important task.  The Canadian Lung Association believes that it’s best to test for radon during the winter months, when there is less ventilation in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Radon Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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