Radon is an invisible, odourless gas. You can't see radon. You can't smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.
It is the second leading cause of lung cancer and it can lead to many other lung issues. Radon exposure is estimated to be the cause of 16% of lung cancers.
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon gas escapes from the ground into the air outside. When radon mixes with the air outside, it’s not a problem: the air outside dilutes the amount of radon. But when radon seeps into a closed-in space like a house, it can be harmful. The radon gas can become trapped inside. Any home (old or new) could have high levels of Radon.
You and your family can breathe in high levels of radon without knowing it.
The only way to know if your home has radon is to test for it.
Testing for Radon is easy. All you have to do is purchase a home testing kit, test your home, and then mail it to our lab for the results.
Follow the instructions that come with your radon test.
In general, you:
- Put the test device on the lowest level of your house that you use regularly (the level where you spend four hours a day or more). This could be your basement or your main floor.
- Make sure the test device is in a safe place, where it won’t get knocked over.
- Leave the test device in place for at least three months.
- Mail the test device to the company’s laboratory. The test will come with a mailing label and package. All you have to do is put the test device in the package and drop it in a post box.
- The company will analyze the test device in their laboratory and mail you the results.
When should I test for radon?
It’s best to test for radon over the winter months when there is less ventilation (less air movement) in your home.
Radon Test Results
What you do depends on how much radon there is. Radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3).
- If your home’s radon level is less than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada radon guidelines say that no action is required. However, even low levels of radon can be harmful. It’s a good idea to try to lower your home’s radon level as much as possible, even if it’s already below 200 Bq/m3.
- If your home’s radon level is between 200 and 600 Bq/m3, you should repair your home in the next two years.
- If your home’s radon level is over 600 Bq/m3, you should repair your home within one year.
Reduce Radon Levels in Your Home
To lower the radon level, you need to hire a contractor to:
- Figure out where the radon is coming in
- Complete repairs to block it from coming in
Radon can come into your home through sump pumps, cracks in foundations, spaces around pipes, unfinished floors, and other places. To solve your radon problem, you need an expert to find out where exactly the radon is getting in. A trained contractor with experience in radon mitigation (radon repairs) can examine your home, find where the radon is seeping in, and make the necessary repairs.
Find a Trained Contractor with Experience in Radon Mitigation
You should hire an experienced, reputable contractor to mitigate your home. Contact Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program at 1 800 269-4174 or on their website for a list of certified service providers in Manitoba who can help reduce the level of radon in your home.
Are there any grants or programs that cover the cost of radon testing or mitigation (repairs)?
No, unfortunately. We are not aware of any grants to cover the cost of radon testing or mitigation.
What if I rent my home? Can I ask my landlord to test for radon?
We do not know of any specific laws that force private landlords to test for radon or make repairs. If you rent, you could ask your landlord to test for radon. If your landlord refuses, you could try testing for radon yourself. After you get the results, share them with the landlord. If the results say your rental home does have a high level of radon, ask your landlord to hire a radon mitigation contractor.
Please feel free to contact us at 204-774-5501 or toll-free at 1-888-262-5864. You can also reach us by email if you have any questions.
For more information on Radon, please visit takeactiononradon.ca.
Take Action on Radon is a national initiative to bring together stakeholders and raise awareness on radon across Canada.