What is Radon?
- Odorless, tasteless, and colourless
- Naturally occurring radioactive gas
- Produced by the decay of uranium
- During decay alpha particles are given off
- Inhalation of particles damages lungs.
How does Radon get into a home?
- Exposed soil or rock in crawlspaces
- Cracks or flaws in foundation walls
- Around utility penetrations and support posts
- Hollow objects such as support posts
- Cracks or flaws in floor slab
- Floor drains and sumps
- Floor and wall joints
- Cracks through the blocks or along mortar joints
- Missing mortar between blocks
- Unclosed voids at the top of exterior walls
- Unclosed voids at the top of interior block walls which penetrate the floor slab
- Pores in the face of blocks
Why should we pay attention?
- Health Canada estimates 1,900 lung cancer deaths per year are related to radon
- We spend more time indoors, including basements
- Tighter buildings
- Some geographical areas are known for high risk of radon in the ground
- Health Canada reduced the permissible Canadian Action Level from 800 Bq/m3 to 200 Bq/m3
How can Radon be measured?
Recommendations for Basic Protection:
- Health Canada radon test - minimum 1 month during heating season (average annual limit at or less than 200 Bq/m3
- Testing for codes - not possible during construction - not enforceable at time of construction - not practical/economical for builders
- Responsibility to test rests with owner
- Air barriers for below-ground walls
- Polyethylene soil gas barrier required under slab
- All penetrations (mostly pipes) sealed
- Sump pit cover required to be airtight
- Air-seal for floor drains
- Air-seal hollow masonry
- Seal slab perimeter
- Consistent requirements for ground cover
More info on Radon and the new national codes...
Radon Reduction Guide for Canadians
Health Canada - Environmental and Workplace Health
Environmental Protection Agency - Radon
Expert Contact Info:
Radon Controls Inc
c/o Loreck Homes Ltd
Attn: Leonard Gieck and Patricia Lagore
#129, 4950 - 106 Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta T2C 5E9
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Radon Measurements and Mitigation
Radon Controls Inc.