Radon is produced naturally from the direct decay of the isotope radium-226, which is found in rocks. It was first discovered as a radioactive gas produced from radium as it decayed. There is a detectable amount in the Earth’s atmosphere. In some places, high concentrations of radon can build up indoors, escaping from the ground or from granite buildings. Home testing kits are available which can be sent away for analysis. Research, science, and case by case studies have proven that Radon is evident in homes all over Canada and at varying levels. One house may have on average a low concentration of Radon while the house right next door to it may have a very high concentration level. Years of research and millions of dollars spent have concluded that Radon is a very serious health risk as it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. Each house is built differently, with different building materials, different heating and ventilation systems, and some built on land with soil more susceptible to producing Radon than others; therefore, the risk of being exposed to radon will be different among different homes. One thing is for sure though, any sort of exposure to radon, no matter how much or how long, is a serious health risk and does have the potential to cause lung cancer. Think of it as a dart board. The more darts you throw at a dart board, the more of a chance you will have at hitting the bulls eye. You may not hit the bulls eye with your first throw or second throw, but if you throw all day, eventually one will hit the center. The more radon and radon decay particles coming in contact with your lung tissue, the bigger a chance that one of them will mutate that cell into a cancer cell. Health Canada recommends (Canadian Guideline) having a Radon concentration level no higher than 200 becquerels per cubic metre. If a house reaches that level or higher, Health Canada strongly recommends fixing the home by integrating a radon mitigation system.
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