Here is our personal experience of testing Radon gas at home:

What is Radon Gas ?

Radon gas is a radioactive gas that is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is formed naturally during the breakdown of uranium in soil or rocks.

How Does it Affect me ?

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/radon-gas-home-tests-urged-by-calgary-cancer-experts-1.2505835) Inhaled radon can be trapped in your lungs and can cause lung cancer. Also do note smoking habits, plus a long term exposure of radon gas are what may also lead to lung cancer. A radon gas level less than or equal 200 Becquerels per cubic metres does not require any actions, anything above that figure would require actions to be taken.

How Did it Get into my House ?

Radon gas is produced naturally, when in confined areas (like basement) it may lead to higher concentrations, since we tend not to have much airflow/circulation in basements. Radon gas is also produced out in nature all the time except that the outside air dilutes it to low concentrations of it.
Radon gas tends to seep into your house by foundation cracks, sump pumps, soil dirt floors and basement drains.

How to DIY the Test ?

A DIY test kit can be purchased from Internet, Home Depot or from Ottawa Public Health One can call: 613-580-6744. The cost of the kit varies from 40 – 100 dollars.

The process is rather simple, the instructions are usually provided with the device but basically you just need to hang the device in the middle of the room above certain feet for the amount of days the instructions have directed. It is usually the basement and winter months are recommended since the true results are obtained when there is not many open windows and doors around.
Once the days have been completed, the device usually comes with a package to ship to the testing company and a report is sent back to you. Again a level of 200 or less does not require any actions.

What if I Have More Than 200 ?

I would strongly advice that you get a professional company to test and to provide you with suggestions then. Usually with some modifications in the house such as better circulation, ventilation, and some device instalments, one can handle the problem without having to move.
A list of companies can be found at http://www.nrpp.info/

Author: Nilay Ertemur

Sources:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/radon-gas-home-tests-urged-by-calgary-cancer-experts-1.2505835
http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/healthy-living/radon-your-home

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