As an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas, radon is bound to cause some confusion. Here's the quick breakdown:
- Health Canada recommends corrective actions for buildings determined as over 200 Bq/m3 within 2 years and buildings determined as over 600 Bq/m3 within 1 year
- The higher the concentration, the sooner remedial action should be taken
- Radon levels should be reducted to as low as practically possible
- The National Building Code now includes provisions intended to make radon reduction easier if high levels are determined
- Additional code requirements dependent on province and region apply
- In Alberta, Child Care Facilities will soon require radon testing. Please see details on our Childcare Facilities page.
- NORM Management is applicable for Candian workplaces detemined as over 200 Bq/m3 - 800 Bq/m3. Radiation Protection Management is applicable for Canadian workplaces determined as over 800 Bq/m3
- Uranium and other mines are governed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Health Canada guidelines recommend corrective action at 200 Bq/m^3, the World Health Organization (WHO) at between 100-300 Bq/m^3 and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 148 Bq/m^3. No doubt it's confusing! The reason behind the difference of opinion lies in the risk potential and availability of resources for corrective action. Studies (check out our Research page) have concluded that health risks increase on exposure to 100 Bq/m^3. Despite the difference in guidelines, it is agreed that the lower the level of radon exposure the better.
Likely, your builder has taken every precaution to reduce the risk of radon gas entry as is possible before home possession including: • Sealing building envelope as well as slab (basement floor) • Air Barrier underneath the slab • Radon rough-in system to make mitigation simple and efficient should it be deemed necessary. Despite all precautions, radon accumulation is still a possibility, which is why a rough in for a mitigation system has already been installed. Should your home be one in eight Alberta homes with high radon levels, much of the work to remediate has already been done.