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DIY radon measurement for Canadians

A radon test kit is a package that includes all you need to conduct a radon test at your home. A kit will include a radon detector (sometimes called a dosimeter), instructions and data sheet. The radon detector should be deployed at a home for a specific amount of time (2-90 days for a short-term test, and 91 days to 1 year for a long-term test). Once the testing period is done, the radon detector and data sheet are shipped to the lab for analysis.

All the kits sold at are 100% safe for home use. The kits do not pose a health risk.

Radon levels are measured in units of Becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). This unit represents the amount of radiation from radon gas per volume of air.

Health Canada has set a guideline for indoor radon levels at 200 Bq/m3. This means indoor radon gas levels should be below 200 Bq/m3.

If the radon level in your home is 200Bq/m3 or more, you need to reduce it. The higher the radon level in your home, the sooner it needs to be reduced. High radon levels can be easily fixed for a reasonable cost. A certified radon mitigation professional can help provide you with the most effective radon reduction solution.High radon levels can be easily fixed at a reasonable cost.

No. Laboratory analysis fees are included in the purchase price of the Accustar Alpha Track radon test kits. The only additional cost is about $8-10 to ship the detector to the lab once the test is completed.

Since the radon concentration inside a house varies over time, measurements gathered over a longer period of time will give a more accurate indication of the radon level in a house. Health Canada recommends that houses be tested for a minimum of 3 months (91+days).

Radon measurement professionals are trained on approved protocols for radon testing. They will ensure the radon test is done right, using calibrated and quality assured equipment. Hire a radon measurement professional if you want the test done right or if do not want to go through the hassle of conducting the test on your own. In addition, radon measurement professionals may be needed in situation where an objective certified report is required: e.g. for Tarion Warranty in Ontario, real estate testing, short-term tests, other mandated testing etc. Find a radon measurement professional in your area.

Radon levels have also been shown to vary even by next door neighbours. Mike Holmes recently reported on radon gas tests done in Quebec where one home had  radon levels at 125 Bq/m3 and the next door neighbour had 20,653 Bq/m3!

Some provinces or areas in Canada can have higher than normal radon levels but the concentration of radon can vary from home to home even in those found in the same neighbourhood.

While older home may tend to have more radon entry points, newer homes tend to be more tightly sealed for energy efficiency, hence may still develop radon problems.  The age of a house is not a good indicator of potential radon levels, both new and old homes are both equally likely to develop radon problems.

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