Radon Levels: How are They Measured and What Do They Mean?

Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium, found naturally in rocks and soil. Radon gas is diluted in outdoor air and poses no health risk. However, radon may or may not pose a health risk, depending on the radon concentration in the indoor air. It can enter a home or building through any space or opening that contacts the soil around or underneath the dwelling. Radon concentration is expressed in Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). One Becquerel means one radioactive disintegration per second. Radon tests are used to measure the radon level in the air and determine if action should be taken to reduce radon levels.

Recommendations about radon levels

Because radon is a carcinogen, the only truly safe level of exposure is zero. The Canadian Guideline for indoor radon level in homes and buildings is 200 Bq/m3. If your radon test result exceeds this guideline, Health Canada recommends that the homeowner consult a Certified Radon Mitigation Professional to lower the indoor radon level within the building.

Test your home’s radon levels, then mitigate if necessary

Every house should be tested for radon. Because soil conditions vary greatly even within a small geographic area, radon levels in neighboring houses don’t necessarily predict your home’s radon level. Having a radon test conducted in your home is not difficult or expensive. The Health Canada “Take Action on Radon” website provides information on how building owners and residents can obtain or order radon test kits. A professional can also perform radon testing.

Please note that Island Basement Systems does not perform radon testing, but we do install radon mitigation systems.

Don’t panic if a radon test shows high levels of radon exposure. There are proven techniques for reducing radon levels to bring exposure into the acceptable range. The higher the radon level, the sooner it is recommended that action be taken.

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Island Basement Systems
467 John St
Victoria, BC V8T5H1
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