Radon is naturally occurring, radioactive, odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. It is present in the soil, water and air as a result of decay of uranium and thorium.
Radon - a cancer causing radioactive gas
Radon seeps into a home from surrounding soil through gaps and cracks in the foundation, concrete walls and floors, sumps, joints, basement drains ad other openings. Unsafe levels of radon could accumulate in poorly ventilated homes and buildings.
Normal level of radon gas in the ambient is about 10 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). Indoor radon levels typically range from 30 to 100 Bq/m3.
Exposure to high levels of radon increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Radon also increases the risk of lung cancer from smoking.
According to Health Canada, there are steps available to reduce the risk:
- Increase the ventilation in the basement to allow an exchange of air
- Seal all cracks and openings inf foundation walls and floors, around pipes and drains
- Paint the basement floors and foundation walls with two coats of paint and a sealant
- Ventilate the basement sub-flooring by installing a small pump to draw the radon from below the concrete slab to the outside before it can enter your home
- Renovate existing basement floors, particularly earth floors.