Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that kills around 3000 Canadians each year (over 30,000 people in the U.S.), more than the total of those who die by drowning, drunk drivers, suicide, and plane crashes combined.
Radon Gas is produced by the natural decay of radioactive materials (mostly uranium and thorium) inside the earth and finds its way to the surface through cracks and fissures. Dissipated in open air radon gas is harmless, but concentrated in poorly ventilated basements and crawlspaces – because it’s eight times heavier than air – the stuff can turn deadly.
Radon breaks down quite rapidly into particles called "radon daughters", releasing highly charged particles that can damage bronchial and lung tissue and lead to lung cancer.
The World Health Organization now recognizes radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer worldwide, trailing only cigarette smoking. Health Canada recommends that all homes be tested to determine the levels of radon gas present. Mitigation involves the installation or improvement of ventilation systems and/or the blocking of sub-surface gas flow from entering interior spaces and can most often be completed without major expense.
Although not widespread, past studies have discovered homes with high radon levels throughout BC. Most of the Okanagan and Shuswap regions have been rated as having a High or Elevated risk of having buildings with potentially unsafe concentrations of radon gas.
Clarion Home Inspections has been trained and certified in the field of Radon Measurement and can provide both short and long term radon testing to our customers. Short term tests (48 – 72 hours) are used to obtain a "snapshot" indication of radon levels and are most often completed as a part of real estate transactions.
Long term radon testing is more reliable and will take a minimum of 90 days to complete. Long term test kits are available to our customers, who are most often capable of completing the tests themselves. Helping with the interpretation of test results and providing advice on any further steps needed, if any, will always be free to our home inspection customers.