With more Canadians than ever working from home, our potential for radon exposure has increased. A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Mathematic and Physics links the Covid-19 lockdown to an elevated risk of developing lung cancer from radon exposure (Maya et. al, 2020).
What is radon and where is it found?
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas present throughout Canada and is the most significant environmental cause of lung cancer as well as the highest cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Health Canada estimates approximately 3,200 Canadians die every year from radon exposure.
Radon is generated from radium, a product of the radioactive decay of uranium present in our soil. Existing everywhere in the air around us, radon is a tasteless, odourless and colourless gas. Outdoors, this gas is diluted to concentrations that pose very little risk, but radon can accumulate to harmful levels in enclosed environments. Basements, crawlspaces, and poorly ventilated ground floors are all possible locations for elevated radon levels.
How do I know if my home or office has elevated radon levels?
Testing for radon is the only way to know if your workspace, facility or home has elevated levels.
The best time to test for radon is during the winter months when warmer inside air pulls more radon gas from the cool soil outside and closed windows means less natural ventilation to dilute and flush the gas away. It is important to test your space for elevated levels of radon, especially as winter weather (or a global pandemic!) generally means spending more time inside.
What can I do?
ECOH has C-NRPP Certified Radon Measurement Professionals on our team who are certified to provide radon testing across Canada. Our certified technicians will:
· Assess your space and listen to your concerns,
· Plan a testing program,
· Install radon test kits in the lowest occupied areas or use direct read instrumentation to measure radon levels, and
· Develop recommendations for mitigating radon levels if necessary.
Contact ECOH today to talk about testing for radon in your facility, workplace, or home.
Maya, J., Mohamadou, L., Mbembe, S.M., Likéné, A.A., Mbembe, B.A. and Boubakari, M. (2020) Radon Risks Assessment with the Covid-19 Lockdown Effects. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 8, 1402-1412.
Lung Cancer Canada (2020), Radon.
Canadian Cancer Society (2020), Radon and cancer.