November is Radon Action Month in Canada – which coincides with Lung Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. November has been chosen in Canada to be Radon Action Month because Health Canada suggests measuring for radon for at least three months during the “heating season” when people’s houses are sealed up to keep the cold out and the warmth in.
What is radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is emitted from the decay of uranium within rocks and soil. This odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer overall, and the leading cause of lung cancer in those who have never smoked. Although radon is more prevalent in certain geographic areas, any building in any geological setting can have dangerous levels of radon. In Canada, the action level for radon is 200 Bq/m3.
Why Radon Action Month?
When asked this question, Colin Dumais of Radon West in Calgary, Alberta noted, “Since testing for radon is so easy and the technology for mitigating high levels is well developed, the real barrier to protecting people from radon is awareness.”
- Radon emits radiation that our lungs are particularly sensitive to. Over time, the radon-damaged lung cells may become cancerous.
- 50% of lung cancers are diagnosed late at Stage IV.
- The probability of surviving lung cancer at least five years after diagnosis is about 19% in Canada.
David Innes, President of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST) and Director of Sales for Radon Environmental said, “Radon Action Month offers the Canadian radon stakeholders a chance to step into the media forefront and raise awareness around the perils of exposure to radon across the country. Our focus on testing for radon is elevated during this period. Many provincial legislatures have proclaimed November as Radon Action Month. For most of us in Canada, November marks the start of the heating season. Health Canada recommends that a 90+ day test occur during the heating season.”
What can be done about radon?
Radon mitigation is typically a manageable expense for a home or building owner. It can successfully reduce radon inside homes and buildings when performed by a professional radon mitigator. The Radtrak³ radon detector by Radonova is the most popular alpha track radon detector in the world. It is deployed for 90 to 365 days and is considered a long-term test as recommended by Health Canada.
Radon resources for Canadians
Health Canada’s Take Action on Radon is a great resource for all Canadians. Their website has an excess of information about the radioactive gas as well as a list of C-NRPP certified radon test providers and certified radon testing contractors.
Radonova is the laboratory of choice for numerous government radon surveys, as well as other public, and private sector large-scale measurement contracts around the world. A truly global laboratory, Radonova is active in over 80 countries and has performed millions of radon measurements.
Take Action on Radon