Radon Testing in Vancouver. Vancouver Home Inspector
Radon has been in the news recently and given that Radon is a proven carcinogen, more and more clients are requesting radon tests as part of the home inspection. Here are some quick facts about radon in B.C.
- Radon is a known carcinogen, and is estimated to cause up to 10% of all lung cancers in Canada.
- It is a radioactive gas that is produced by the decay of uranium.
- Radon is naturally occurring, and emanates from soil and rocks. It percolates up through soil into buildings, and if it is not evacuated there can be much higher exposure levels indoors than outdoors.
- High radon levels can be easily tested for, allowing for mitigation.
- Health Canada’s guideline for the acceptable level of indoor radon in a normal living area has been set at 200 Bq/m³.
As radon is a gas, it is able to diffuse through the soil and other materials around the foundation of a home. Because homes tend to operate under a negative pressure (meaning that the air pressure inside the home is lower than the air pressure outside) this creates a vacuum that pulls radon-rich air into the lower areas of the home through any dirt floor areas or unsealed sumps or cracks, fissures, or pores in the building materials.
The following radon maps for homes in BC were created from a survey performed in 2007 for radon in BC cities, giving an indication of the radon prone areas within the province.
Testing for Radon is not expensive but proper testing should be carried out for a 12 month period.
- Long-term radon testing over the course of 12 months provides the most accurate estimate of average annual indoor radon levels.
- There are several types of detectors recommended for long-term tests (most popular are electret and Alpha-trac).
- Short-term testing can be used for preliminary crude screening of the effectiveness of radon remediation/ prevention work already undertaken, or of the possible need for remediation of real estate being purchased.
- If short-term testing detects Radon, long-term testing should be subsequently carried out for confirmation.
Stonegate Home Inspections offers affordable Radon testing to help identify Radon hazard within your home. Please feel free to contact us and request a free quote if you have any concerns relating to Radon exposure.
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BC Centre for Disease Control- www.bccdc.ca/healthenv/Contaminants/Radon/