Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like homes, it can accumulate to high levels and become a risk to the health of you and your family.
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How radon gets into your home
The air pressure inside your home is usually lower than in the soil surrounding the foundation. This difference in pressure draws air and other gases, including radon, from the soil into your home.
Radon can enter a home any place it finds an opening where the house contacts the ground: cracks in foundation floor and walls, construction joints, gaps around service pipes, support posts, window casements, floor drains, sumps or cavities inside walls.
Radon levels in Canada
Uranium is a common element found everywhere in the earth's crust, as a result radon gas can be found in almost all homes in Canada. Concentrations differ greatly across the country, but are usually higher in areas where there is a higher amount of uranium in underlying rock and soil.
Radon concentration levels will vary from one house to another, even if they are similar designs and next door to each other. The only way to be sure of the radon level in your home is to test.
- Radon in real estate (brochure)
- Take action on radon (infographic)
- Should I test for radon? (infographic)
- Radon gas is in your home (postcard)
- Radon gas: It's in your home (brochure)
- Radon – Another reason to quit (factsheet)
- Radon long-term instructions (infographic)
- Radon – What you need to know (factsheet)
- Radon – Reduction guide for Canadians (publication)
- Radon: Is it in your home? Information for health professionals (brochure)
All radon material can be found under publications.
- What is radon?
- Mike Holmes on Radon
- Radon: Is it in Your Home?
- Radon: What you need to know
- Plan to be here – Take Action on Radon
- Contact us – Radiation Health Assessment Division
- Canadian Cancer Society – Radon
- MacHealth – Accredited online learning course on radon
- Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP)
- Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST)
- The Canadian Real Estate Association – A homeowner's guide to radon (PDF)
- Canadian Lung Association – Pollution and Air Quality – Indoor Air – Radon
- Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment (CPCHE) – Home safety for your kid's sake campaign
- World Health Organization (WHO) handbook on indoor radon – a public health perspective (PDF)
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