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How to Test for Radon

Posted in Air Quality, on September 25, 2020

If you live in the GTA, radon testing should be at the top of your home’s to-do list this fall. In the last decade, a sharp increase in evidence of radon gas poisoning in Toronto-area homes has led to region-wide awareness campaigns about this deadly home toxin. But many homeowners still don’t know what radon gas is, why it’s dangerous, and how to test for it. Here’s how: 

What is Radon? 

Radon is an odourless, tasteless, and colourless radioactive gas that is created when uranium deep under our homes breaks down. This gas travels up through the soil and collects in our basements and homes in dangerous amounts. 

Why is Radon Dangerous?

Like all radioactive materials, when radon gas decays, it releases small bursts of energy. When inhaled, these bursts are absorbed by nearby lung tissue, damaging essential cells and increasing your risk of lung cancer. Among non-smokers, radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in Canada - but if you’re a smoker, your risk is even greater. 

Why You Should Get a Professional Test

While you can get home radon tests at the hardware store, the safer and more thorough option is to hire a professional to do it. There are a few important reasons that we suggest a professional approach. While a hardware store test may be less expensive, there are some serious drawbacks to purchasing one and many ways to skew the accuracy. 

For starters, radon tests need to be very carefully placed. They can’t be too close to the wall, windows, doorways, bathrooms, the furnace, or other appliances. The weather, what season you do the test in, and other environmental factors like humidity can easily give you unusually high or low readings. 

This problem is eliminated with a professional test. Not only is our testing equipment freshly recalibrated after each use, we’ve also attended hours of specialized training on radon gas and radon testing so that our accuracy and precision is ensured. 

Additionally, many DIY radon kits are short term tests, which can take as little as 48 hours to complete. A professional radon test takes place over many months, which can help adjust for the environmental fluctuations that cause many false positives in short term testing. Working with a company like SafeAir ensures that you get accurate results once - instead of false alarms and stressful inaccuracies. 

Work With SafeAir to Radon Test

At SafeAir, we have over a decade of experience helping people create safer indoor air quality environments in their homes and businesses. Radon gas is a serious health concern that homeowners need to consider - up to 25% of homes in Ontario have radon concentrations that exceed the guidelines set by the World Health Organization. For more on radon testing in Toronto and the GTA, get in touch with us at 416-414-5690 or visit our Services page for more information on indoor air quality testing and common indoor air pollutants. 

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