Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium. All homes have some level of radon. The question is, how much? You can't see, taste, or smell radon. The only way to know how much radon is in your home is to test for it.

As radon breaks down it forms radioactive particles that can get lodged into your lung tissue as you breathe. The radon particles release energy that can damage the cells in your lungs. When the cells in your lungs are damaged, there is the possibility of developing lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and Canada is a hot spot.

Most of the time the air pressure inside your home is lower than the pressure in the soil surrounding your home's foundation. This difference in pressure can draw air and other gases in the soil, including radon, into the house. Gas containing radon can enter your home at any opening where the house contacts the soil. These openings can be present any home, new or old.

Health Canada Radon Guidelines and the latest research recommends that in order for test results to be both accurate and reliable, it is important to use a certified long-term (minimum of 3 month) radon test kit. Some retailers sell short-term radon test kits that are not supported by evidence-based best practices and guidelines.

There is no completely safe level of radon. Home owners are encouraged to reduce radon levels to be as low as reasonably possible. The Canadian guideline for radon in indoor air is 200 Bq/m3 (becquerels per cubic metre).

Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. Radon levels in most homes can be reduced by more than 80% for about the same cost as other common home repairs such as replacing the furnace or air conditioner.

What can I do if I have high levels of radon in my home?

The best way to lower radon levels is with a certified radon mitigation (reduction) professional who is certified with the Canadian - National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP). They are trained to properly assess your home and design systems that efficiently and effectively reduce your radon level.

A radon mitigation system is installed so a fan draws air (and radon) up from beneath the foundation to the outdoors. This way it does not enter the home.

Often, the work involved to reduce radon levels can be done in one day comparable to a new furnace.

Depending on the year of construction of a home, building codes require installation of a radon stub pipe through the foundation of the house. This is not a mitigation system, but simply a rough in. It will NOT reduce radon levels without an installed system.

Learn more about reducing radon from Health Canada's Radon Reduction Guide: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/health-risks-safety/radiation/radon.html.

Find a C-NRPP Certified Radon Reduction Mitigation Professional near you at www.c-nrpp.ca.

Radon levels can vary between neighbouring homes. The only way to know how much radon is in a home is to test for it.

Your test includes: a Health Canada approved long-term radon test kit; two-way shipping within Canada, a Canadian accredited lab analysis and report, online test management and email reminders

Testing is easy and inexpensive. We offer long-term radon test kits called alpha track detectors which are approved by Health Canada. Radon levels in a home change over time. They can increase and decrease from one day to the next. For this reason, testing over a longer period of time is most accurate. Health Canada recommends that home owners do a long-term radon test, for at least three months, during the fall or winter months. Place the detector in the lowest area of the home where you or a member your family spends on average four hours each day. Testing instructions are included in your test kit.

Health Canada Radon Guidelines and the latest research recommends that in order for test results to be both accurate and reliable, it is important to use a certified long-term (minimum of 3 month) radon test kit. Some retailers sell short-term radon test kits that are not supported by evidence-based best practices and guidelines.

Today is the best day to test for radon. However, the ideal time to test your home is for a minimum of 3 months, from September to March when windows and doors are most often closed. If you start your test in April to August, we recommend extending your test period (no more than 12 months).

Duplicates: Duplicate tests are quality control measurements designed to assess the precision of radon measurement devices. Duplicate tests should be conducted by placing two radon devices side-by-side, 10 cm (4”) apart. The test duration for the two devices must be the identical, meaning that the start and end times must be the same. Duplicates provide assurance to the lab that the tests are providing acceptable precision. If you were randomly selected to have a duplicate radon test, you will only receive one radon result, not two.

Blanks: Blank test are also a quality control measurement which assesses. This test measures that almost no radon levels are detected before the radon test is opened. A blank radon test should read close to ‘0’. Only the opened detector needs to be activated online.

Once your test is complete, mail both the detector and the blank/duplicate to the lab. If you have duplicate or blank radon test you only need to activate your one radon test kit online. Our system will not allow you to activate both. You will only receive one radon result.

The alpha track radon detectors use a small piece of special plastic enclosed in a container. The detector is exposed to the air in the home for a specified time.  When the radon in the air enters the chamber, the alpha particles produced by decay leave marks on the plastic. At the end of the test the detector is returned to the lab for analysis. The lab examines the special piece of plastic under a microscope to count the marks on the plastic. By using your radon test start and end date, an average radon concentration is calculated.

Activating your radon test kit online is the only way we are able to identify which radon test is yours in order to provide you your test results. The lab requires both the start and end date to complete their analysis.

Health Canada recommends retesting every five years, or sooner if there are any major changes/damage to the foundation of the home.

  1. If you have missplaced your radon test kit box, our radon test instructions can be downloaded here, please note the different types of tests we provide. Please see the FAQ What are duplicate and blank radon tests? for more information on these tests.
  2. Email radon@sk.lung.ca and we will send you a replacement silver foil bag for you to put your radon detector in when your test is complete.
  3. We will not however be able to send you a replacement pre-paid shipping label. Once your radon test is complete, be sure to visit www.homeradontest.ca to make sure your radon test has been both started and ended and you have included both your radon test's start and end dates.
  4. Mail your radon test kit to:
    SRC Environmental Analytical Laboratories
    143-111 Research Drive
    Saskatoon, SK  S7N 3R2

Once the foil bag that your radon canister comes in is opened, and your radon detector is exposed to air, the testing process has begun. You do not need to open the canister or twist off the top.

There is no safe level of radon. It is best to lower the radon levels in your home as much as possible. Health Canada recommends to take action and reduce radon levels when long-term radon tests are above 200 Bq/m3.

REDUCE NOW REDUCE SOON REDUCE AT YOUR DISCRETION
If your radon level is above 600 Bq/m3. If your radon level is 200–600 Bq/m3. If your radon level is below 200 Bq/m3.
Reduce your radon levels within 1 year. Reduce your radon levels within 2 years. Reduce your radon levels at your discretion as a homeowner.

There is no completely safe level of radon. Home owners are encouraged to reduce radon levels to be as low as reasonably possible. The Canadian guideline for radon in indoor air is 200 Bq/m3 (becquerels per cubic metre).

Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. Radon levels in most homes can be reduced by more than 80% for about the same cost as other common home repairs such as replacing the furnace or air conditioner.

What can I do if I have high levels of radon in my home?

The best way to lower radon levels is with a certified radon mitigation (reduction) professional who is certified with the Canadian - National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP). They are trained to properly assess your home and design systems that efficiently and effectively reduce your radon level.

A radon mitigation system is installed so a fan draws air (and radon) up from beneath the foundation to the outdoors. This way it does not enter the home.

Often, the work involved to reduce radon levels can be done in one day comparable to a new furnace.

Depending on the year of construction of a home, building codes require installation of a radon stub pipe through the foundation of the house. This is not a mitigation system, but simply a rough in. It will NOT reduce radon levels without an installed system.

Learn more about reducing radon from Health Canada's Radon Reduction Guide: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/health-risks-safety/radiation/radon.html.

Find a C-NRPP Certified Radon Reduction Mitigation Professional near you at www.c-nrpp.ca.

During the time your windows and doors are open, radon accumulation may diminish. Once the windows and doors are closed, radon has the chance to return to the previous levels in roughly 12 hours.

Even though natural ventilation reduces radon quite effectively, opening windows is considered a temporary solution to a serious problem.

You should receive your radon results via email within 10–15 business days after the lab receives your radon detector in the mail. If after this time period you have not received your radon results:

  1. Make sure the radon results email did not end up in your junk folder.
  2. Go online to www.homeradontest.ca to make sure you activated your radon test kit online.
  3. If you have already activated your radon test online, check for the results on the website. If there are no results, make sure all the information is complete and accurate. Make sure you have entered both the start and end date for your radon test. Double check that the email address you have entered into your radon profile is correct.
  4. After completing steps 1-3, contact radon@sk.lung.ca for assistance.

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