October 23, 2019
COVID-19 and Buying a Radon Test Kit
At this time radon test kits are not available through the Health Unit as we are providing essential services only due to our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate that we will be able to resume sales of radon test kits later this year. Please watch for updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages and our website. The best time to conduct your radon test is during the heating season. Radon levels vary from day-to-day and from season-to-season. The highest radon levels are generally found during the fall and winter when our homes are sealed more tightly than during the summer months. If you have already performed your radon test, or are in the process of performing your radon test, you should have received, or will be receiving your test results through the method indicated in your testing kit. The testing laboratory is still functional and able to provide you your test results via email. If you have questions regarding your test results, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-660-5853.
November is Radon Action Month
Every November is Radon Action Month. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit encourages homeowners to test their houses for radon during the fall/winter seasons.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. Lung cancer from radon depends mostly on three factors: the level of radon you are exposed to, the duration of exposure, and smoking habits. Smoking or radon exposure can increase the risk of lung cancer; however, exposure to both greatly enhances that risk.
Radon is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. When radon is released in enclosed areas such as homes, it can accumulate to high levels and can cause a health risk with long-term exposure. Radon can enter homes through cracks in foundations, construction joints, gaps around pipes, sump pumps and drains, and exposed rock in basements etc. Some radon will be found in everyone’s home. The health risk increases as the level of radon and the duration of exposure increases. Health Canada recommends that radon levels do not exceed 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (200 Bq/m3).
Health Canada recommends that homeowners do a long-term radon test, for a minimum of three months, during the fall or winter. Radon levels in a home can fluctuate throughout the seasons; levels are usually higher in the fall and winter when our windows are closed. The detector should be placed in the lowest level of the home where homeowners spend a minimum of 4 hours per day.
If radon levels in your home are above the Canadian guideline (200 Bq/m3), Health Canada recommends hiring a professional certified under the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (www.c-nrpp.ca) to help reduce radon levels. Lowering radon levels in a home requires specific technical knowledge and skills to ensure the job is done properly.
Radon test kits can be purchased from reception at our Brockville, Smiths Falls, Gananoque (cash only), Almonte (cash only), and Kemptville (cash only) offices for $20.00 (postage to mail the kit away for testing will cost between $7-10). Please note that each office has different office hours. This is a discounted price available to residents within our Health Unit area. For more information visit our Home Health and Safety – Radon section, email email@example.com or call 1-800-660-5853.
Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550