With no colour, no smell and no taste, the only way to know whether you’re being exposed to radon is to test for it. Taking action can reduce radon levels by more than 80 per cent.
Radon can be found anywhere in British Columbia, but concentrations differ greatly due to regional differences in soil and rock. Generally, homes and buildings in the Northern and Interior regions of the B.C. tend to have higher levels of radon than other parts of the province.
However, even in regions that are considered low risk, the concentrations of radon can vary from one building or home to the next. That’s why everyone should test their home and, if radon levels are high, act to reduce them.
To know whether radon is a significant issue in your community, you could check out the radon potential map, developed by the BC Centre for Disease Control. This map shows radon levels recorded in homes across the province.
96 per cent of Canadians have not tested their homes for cancer-causing radon. Radon testing is the only way of finding out how much radon is in your home or building.
Testing is easy and can be done in one of two ways:
A testing kit can be purchased online or from home improvement stores.
Some B.C. libraries also lend radon detectors, free of charge. For a full list of participating libraries, visit the Radon Detection Library Lending Program website.
A professional certified by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) can help you test for radon, and if necessary, lower the radon levels in your home or building.
To find a certified professional, visit the C-NRPP website.
Radon levels can fluctuate in the home during different times of the year. You may find that radon levels are highest in your home during the winter months, when your home is sealed, rather than in the summer when windows and doors are open. However, radon testing can be done at any time of the year.
The Government of Canada recommends that the radon levels in a building should not be higher than 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3).
If your test results show high levels of radon, you should take action to lower the level as soon as possible.
Techniques to lower radon levels are effective and can save lives. A radon mitigation system can be installed quickly and can help reduce the radon level by more than 80 per cent.
A C-NRPP certified professional can help you work out the best way to solve the radon problem in your home. You can visit the following websites to find information on certified professionals and testing devices: