Alberta radon levels are quite high. Only recently has testing improved to determine how bad this problem is. We recently completed our radon mitigation for our house and levels went from 435 Bq/m3 to 8 Bq/m3.
150 Bq/m3 is equivalent to smoking a half pack of cigarettes/day or if a person smokes already multiplies that smoking risk by 14 times. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. 100 Bq/m3 is world health organization limit, 200 Bq/m3 is Health Canada and 15 Bq/m3 is what is prevalent outdoors (normal radon levels).
1 in 6 homes tested in 2017 had dangerous levels of radon gas (over 200). Most of Alberta and Saskatchewan are at high risk of high radon levels (check out radon potential map at left).
Forced air systems just move it all around the house and “leaky” house doesn’t really help (it’s the pressure pull of heating a space that is the issue); a house either has high levels or it doesn’t. Even our garage (no basement) was at 150 Bq/m3 and it’s as leaky as it gets. The mitigation process seals all the basement large open holes and helps mitigate basement smell (since it’s sucking all the moist earthy air below the cement and blowing it out the side).
Thanks to Radon West. This company is also the one helping with the UofC radon study. Learn more here: https://www.radonwest.com/pages/learn
Note: In Canada we side-wall vent. Rooftop vents ice up in our cold weather. Canadian studies on dissipation is that within a meter of the vent the radon reading is at normal outside levels; Meaning it dissipates extremely quickly.
More on risks of dying from lung cancer, radon and smoking: https://www.rssi.us/radon-health-risks.htm
Radon meter I purchased; Radon West confirms it is very accurate for a residential unit. A +/-10% reading is available from it within 7 days. Our unit is loaned out to friends and family pretty much constantly. Corentium Home by Airthings, Radon Gas Detector, Canadian Version in Bq/m https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00H30TLPA/
UofC Calgary study (home owners may be able to get testing for free): https://evictradon.ca/
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