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The Story of Radon Gas

If you are reading this and don’t know what Radon Gas is, don’t be alarmed! While Radon Gas has been around for a long time, awareness of the health implications from Radon Gas is relatively new.  

Radon Gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the by-product of uranium decay.  You can’t taste, see or smell Radon Gas, giving it its nickname “the Silent Killer”. Uranium is everywhere.  All houses will have some level of Radon Gas. The problem is when that level is too high!

When Radon Gas is formed in the ground, it rises to the surface. When released outside, the concentration of Radon Gas is quickly dispersed by the wind. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about our homes.

Think of it this way. Imagine standing outside and you strike a match. The sulfur and smoke are quickly dispersed. Now strike that same match underneath a cup. All that smoke is now trapped. Our homes are that cup.

What are the Health Implications?

Radon Gas is responsible for the deaths of over 3200 people a year in Canada and is the number one cause of Lung Cancer among non-smokers. Most of us have known someone in their life, whether it was family, friend, or neighbour, who never smoked a day in their life but still got lung cancer. It used to be blamed on second-hand smoke. It wasn’t until the last 20 years that we realized how dangerous Radon Gas truly is. The odds of you having too much Radon Gas will shock you. Studies show that in the Southwestern Ontario area 1 in 5 to 1 in 15 homes have elevated levels of radioactive gas.

What can you do? Testing for Radon Gas is both easy and inexpensive. Whether you opt for a DIY kit or have a C-NRPP certified professional come into your home, you will know if you have an issue. If you do have an issue, don’t despair, mitigation is affordable and will reduce the Radon Gas in your home to acceptable levels.

Mike Jarvis, RadonFX


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