Radon (Rn) 101 – Understanding it within the Canadian Housing Context
Recently as part of Professional Development Course I took an interesting course and I would like to share with the readers of the Discovery Islander what I learned.
The course was put together by “Evict Radon” which is a volunteer-led Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to solving Canada’s large and allegedly worsening radon-gas exposure problem.
Why should you care about this?
Exposure to Radon may cause serious health issues including lung cancer.
The reason why it’s relevant to Real Estate is that Radon is a health concern and could be seen as a “latent defects” in a real estate transaction. Latent defects are hidden, unknown defects that are not generally discoverable by a prospective purchaser or a reasonable inspection.
In all of my years in the industry I have never seen a deal fall apart due to Radon reading. In fact, I have never even seen a Radon reading disclosed in the Property Disclosure Statement but I suspect that this trend of “healthy homes” will continue to push new ways of red tape. In my opinion, if it’s actually based on science and not on special interest groups and it will make us healthier than I think it’s worth looking into.
What is Radon?
“Radon is a tasteless, odourless and invisible radioactive gas that results from decaying uranium, and is a leading cause of lung cancer.
Radon filters up from the ground and into the air. It can enter buildings through openings where the buildings contact the ground. In the outdoors, radon is diluted to low levels. Inside buildings, however, radon can build up too harmful, concentrated levels. Breathing increased levels of radon increases a person’s chance of developing lung cancer. In fact, Radon is linked to 16% of lung cancer deaths. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.”
Who is at risk?
Everyone is at risk for radon inhalation, and any building that has contact with the ground has the potential to have high radon levels, including houses, apartments, schools, daycares, warehouses and commercial spaces.”
“Evict radon” is asking for participation with their research by testing your home and sending it back to them.
Participation in this research based study can help in better understanding what type of property produces a high or low radon environment and why. It will help in identifying who in society are the most at risk and also help in determining meaningful changes to policy and building codes in the future.
I am naturally sceptical when someone says “this is for your own health” because it usually means it will cost me something. However, I am open minded and passionate about learning so I purchased the test to see what it says about my home. The test cost me $53.99 plus shipping and taxes, total of $78.71.
The way to conduct the test is to place the little plastic device (the radon test) in the lowest level in your home that you spend about 4 or more hours a day. This could be your basement or the main floor. Do not place the radon test in well ventilated spaces such as kitchen, bathroom or areas with open windows or excessive airflow. Do not place them on the floor. The purpose of these tests is to give the research group a more accurate measurement of air quality. Typically, a location on the bedside table is a great place for the test. The test needs to stay in the same location for minimum of 90 days or longer.
If you would like to participate in this study go to the websites provided below. Both of the websites provide abundance of information about Radon, about the test and also mitigation process.
I think it’s a great resource for those of you that are curious or just health conscious.
The website https://c-nrpp.ca/testing-for-radon/
The website to purchase the home test is here: https://evictradon.org/about/
Are you thinking of selling your home? Call me for a free home evaluation.
Roman Krzaczek REALTOR ®
Home number: 250-285-2141