IF YOUR HOUSE USES WATER FROM A WELL, IT IS RECOMMENDED TO TEST FOR RADON IN AIR ON EACH HABITED LEVEL OF YOUR HOUSE

 

Why?

Radon is a gas that dissolves in water. If your well water has a high radon content from contact with rock that is high in radon, the water you use for domestic activities can contribute to increased radon levels in the air. When the water is agitated and/or heated, the microscopic radon bubbles in it are released—ending up in the air.

 

How to detect and measure radon in air and well water


Step 1 :

  • Test for radon in the air on each level of your house where a person spends in average at least 4 hours per day.
  • Use long-term measurement devices (min. 3 months) during the heating season, as recommended by Health Canada.

 

Step 2 :

  • If you get a result in air that is higher than Health Canada’s guideline (200 Bq/m3), consider testing your well water. This helps to determine if your well water contributes to radon in air in your house, in which case mitigation measures on your well would be appropriate.

 

Where to buy a test kit? 

Reduced-price radon test kits are available at the Chelsea town hall for $22 for an air test and $65 for a water test (taxes included). 
 

The models offered are as follows:

 

You can also get a radon test at various locations (non-exhaustive list):

 

For a list of professionals who are certified to test and/or mitigate your radon, you can search for a professional on the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) website. This certification program is recognized by Health Canada and Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.

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Radon is an odourless, colourless, tasteless gas and the only way to measure the radon level in a house is to test it.  Radon is a radioactive gas produced naturally by the decay of uranium in the earth’s crust. It exists all over the world, although its production and, consequently, its concentration are not uniform. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it gets diluted to low concentrations and is not a concern.

Radon concentration in water is also highly variable. Drinking water can be obtained from groundwater sources such as springs, wells and boreholes. Groundwater often flows through rock formations which contain natural uranium and radon producing radium. As radon is a water soluble gas, these sources of water normally have much higher concentrations of radon than surface water from rivers, lakes and streams.

When radon enters a confined space such as a house, it can sometimes accumulate to high concentrations that can pose a health risk, either to develop lung cancer in the long term. The level of risk depends on the radon concentration and the number of years of exposure. It is estimated that in Quebec, 10% of lung cancer deaths are associated with radon exposure.

Whether your house is new or old, radon tends to accumulate in the lower and less ventilated rooms, like the basement for example. The gas can seep into the house in a variety of places. The only way to know if you have a radon problem in your home is to measure its concentration.Souce: Ressources naturelles Canada, 2008

 

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Souce: Ressources naturelles Canada, 2008

There are a number of techniques and treatments available to address radon levels in your home. See the Resources section below. The Health Canada guide offers a complete overview of the different mitigation methods available.

For a list of professionals who are certified to test and/or mitigate your radon, you can search for a professional on the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) website. This certification program is recognized by Health Canada and Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.

To provide a framework for radon mitigation measures in new construction, the Municipality of Chelsea has several radon mitigation provisions in Section 9.5 of its Construction By-law, “Protection against radon and soil gases.”

The information on this page has been taken from documents produced by Health Canada, the Association pulmonaire du Québec, and Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.

Sources

The information on this page has been taken from documents produced by Health Canada, L'Association pulmonaire du Québec and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.

Information
Planning and Sustainable Development Department