Thank you for your interest in testing with Evict Radon

Evict Radon is a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to solving Canada’s significant and worsening radon-gas exposure problem. Radon is a substantial cause of lung cancer even in non-smokers. By testing your home with one of our non-profit, research-grade radon test kits and enrolling in our national, public university-based research study, you are helping Evict Radon-aligned researchers from across Canada to understand radon exposure and develop new ways to protect ourselves and loved ones.

Common practice states that winter is the optimal time to radon test. However, as we collect more data, we have determined little difference between winter and spring radon testing. We do, however, encourage our participants to test over seasonal change. At this time, the best and most accurate radon readings obtained during the spring and summer months are those that are longer than 6 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Canada is now at the stage where it is no longer sufficient to just promote radon testing. Basic radon testing programs have been in operation for decades, from many, many organizations, yet homes continue to be constructed containing more and more radon, and cases of never-smoker (radon-attributable) lung cancers continue to rise. By testing your home with one of our Evict Radon test kits, you’re automatically enrolled in our research study. Each participant is helping researchers across Canada understand radon exposure and develop new ways to protect ourselves and loved ones.

Evict Radon embraces research strategies across disciplines to gain the information necessary to:

  • Learn how to engineer out the radon from our buildings before they are even built
  • Identify who are the most at risk from radon in society
  • Make a meaningful changes to policy across sectors.

This must be done by strictly adhering to national research ethics standards, as well as best practices for controlled studies that will pass academic peer-review and, ultimately, very close scrutiny from the public and experts. Achieving this is very possible and, if successful, will transform the ability to prevent lung cancers caused by radon.

Generally we advise retests under these conditions:

  1. If you’ve done some renovations or related things that may have altered the way your home “breathes” and air flows within it. Things like this would include, for example, a new furnace, developing a basement, getting new windows or changing the level of window glazing, adding or removing a window/door/wall, adding or decommissioning a chimney, adding new roof insulation, getting a new roof, getting AC, adding HRV to heating system… and things like that.
  2. If the last test was 4-5 years ago. So, if your last one was performed in 2016, then it might be timely to do a new one now. One thing many of our participants are doing now are 6 month tests that span a (winter spring summer) / (summer fall winter) so the get an ideal of most seasonal fluctuations. If you wished to get another (matching) test via our study, it remains open for all Canadians. Please visit www.evictradon.org and click the yellow button near the top. That will take you to informed consent and, if you re-join into the study, please follow the instructions to get to the secure page where kits are available at-cost to participants. Kits are shipping out regularly, and so you should get it in a few weeks of ordering.

Canada Post Return Shipping Instructions 

The device is durable and can be placed as is, into the box it arrived in or in a padded or Tyvek envelope. Please take the box or envelope and these instructions to your local post office.

Securely tape closed and mail to our testing lab: RadoNova Inc. 900 Oakmont Lane, Suite 207 Westmont, IL, 60559 USA

Customs info:

Country of origin: USA

Reason: Return for analysis

Sending it as a “small packet” will cost about $10 without tracking. The device is too large to be sent as “letter mail” and may be destroyed in the postal sorting machine. Make sure you send the device to the lab within 7 days of ending the test or the results may come back invalid. Please keep a record of the device number (number on the bottom of the device) as well as your start and end dates until you receive your results. The results will be emailed directly to you once the analysis is complete. This may take between 4 – 6 weeks. Questions? Please contact us at [email protected]

Visit Returning your device for more instructions 

Our study uses the only internationally certified (ISO17025) type of radon test device, as this is critical to ensure we get the best possible radon data. There is a single North American collection hub for these devices, which happens to be in Illinois, USA. All our tests must be sent there, where they’ll be logged and forwarded en masse to the global testing lab in Sweden. We have calculated costs, and the most economic (cheapest) and fastest option for everyone is direct shipping from each participant to the collection hub. Your data is not held in the USA, and your test is not going to be ‘read’ in the USA. All data is held on either Canadian or EU servers, both subject to incredibly rigorous data privacy regulations.

At this time, digital and continuous radon monitors are not officially endorsed by Health Canada as a complete assessment of their utility and reliability is still ongoing.

However, our team has used some of these devices in our research and find that, if properly calibrated, they do produce radon readings that are reasonably comparable to those provided by approved alpha track or electret radon test devices.

Our preliminary analysis (published in our 2019 Scientific Reports article) indicates an approximately 80% agreement between digital and ‘traditional’ radon test devices. We must CAUTION any users of a digital device not to give in to the temptation of taking hourly or even daily/weekly readings too seriously, as radon can and will vary A LOT over the short term, as a function of weather, season, behaviour and even geologic and building factors. So, just as for any radon device, only a long term average (performed for at least 90 days) of radon collected by a digital monitor should be taken at all seriously.

No problem, it happens. 

Once you have completed the 90+ day test, first you will need to log back online to www.radonova.com/evictradon and enter the end date. Once you have done that, you are ready to send the device back to the lab. The device is durable and can be placed as is, into a shipping box or padded envelope. Ensure you tape the box or seal the envelope. Take the device to the nearest post office and ship it to:

RadoNova, Inc.

900 Oakmont Lane, Suite 207

Westmont, IL, 60559 USA

Sending it as a “small packet” will cost about $10. The device is too large to be sent as “letter mail” and may be destroyed in the sorting machinery. Please make sure you send the device to the lab within 7 days of ending the test or the test results may come back invalid. 

Radon is carcinogenic, and exposure to radon has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer. The objective of this study was to quantify the proportion and number of lung cancer cases in Alberta in 2012 that could be attributed to residential radon exposure. In June 2017, the U of C published a study “Lung cancer incidence attributed to residential radon exposure in Alberta in 2012”. Click here to read the research. 

Absolutely not. Blanks and controls are done entirely by the research team, and participants are not a part of that highly controlled process. Participants may receive (chosen at random) a duplicate test at no direct charge, however, and we ask them to be placed side-by-side with the other (identical) test device as this helps us ensure that readings between two devices match perfectly (as would be expected). Please be assured, participants ONLY ever get fully functional devices that will provide them with very accurate results. We know this because of our rigorous quality control process.

Yes, when the test device goes to the lab, the plastic shell containing the CR-39 chip is recycled immediately into another radon test device, minimizing the environmental impact of this process. Cardboard boxes are also recycled.

If the device is “eaten” or “beaten” such that the outer housing is perturbed, you will need to purchase a new test as it will be invalidated. If so, please contact us, and we will try to arrange for a new one to be provided at a lower cost, as you hopefully still have the original pre-paid return shipping label (and won’t need to pay for that twice).

The Americans actually use a different (older) unit to measure radon – the picocurie (pCi) instead of the Bq that is used in Canada (and the rest of the world). The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set the USA action level at 4 pCi/L back in the late 20th century, and this equates to 148 Bq/m3. Their advice, just like Health Canada, is still to aim for as low as reasonably achievable. The WHO deferred to the amount of radon where a statistically observable increasing in lifetime risk of lung cancer is clear and significant – this is 100 Bq/m3. Health Canada set our maximum acceptable reference level at twice this value, with the view that double where we start to see an increase in risk is truly unacceptable. To ensure that you are protected to where there is no significant increase in risk (as science and medicine understands radon), aim to get your home, school and work environment below 100 Bq/m3.

It is important to remember that the 200 Bq/m3 level is set by Health Canada as a maximum acceptable reference level. Health Canada’s advice is to aim for as low as reasonably achievable. Your body cannot distinguish between 199, 200 and 201 Bq/m3 of radon, and being slightly under or over that number is meaningless to your long term health. Our advice if your home is at or near 200 Bq/m3 is to evaluate your relative risk and exposure by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Are their babies, kids or teens in the home? If yes, consider mitigating, as young people are at a much higher risk from the negative impact of radon compared to those of older ages (65+).
  • Does anyone work from home or spend most of their days at home? If yes, then consider mitigating, as those individuals are breathing the home’s air for a lot longer than a person leaving for large parts of the day for school or work.
  • Does anyone in the home have a family history of cancer? If yes, consider mitigating, as some families carry altered genes that make them more susceptible to cancer following exposure to radiation.
  • Is anyone in the home a current or former smoker? If yes, consider mitigating. The risk of lung cancer from radon is ‘synergistic’ with the risk from smoking. For example, ‘1 unit’ of risk from smoking plus ‘1 unit’ of risk from radon does not equal 2, rather it is a case of 1+1=17. Smokers (current or former) are much more at risk from radon, and so should protect themselves from radon even if still actively smoking to reduce their chances of cancer in the future.
  • Is anyone in the home exposed to other lung cancer risk factors? If yes, consider mitigating. In addition to smoking (described above), folks who work with or who are exposed often to metal dust (metallurgists, jewelers, machinists, blacksmithery, etc.), leather dust, gasoline or diesel fumes (mechanics, firefighters, etc.), asbestos and heavy air pollution should also aim to reduce their exposure to radon as much as possible

No, we do not and will not publish radon levels by small regions such as neighbourhoods. Typically, the smallest geographic region we use to describe radon is a city quadrant (for major cities), an entire town or a federal electoral district.

The 2010 National Building Code for Canada mandated that homes should be built with both a vapour barrier between the foundation and washed gravel underneath, and a portal for a future radon mitigation device. Different provinces adopted this code at different times. In Alberta, only homes built from early 2016 onwards are likely to have this rough in. In Saskatchewan, homes built mid 2013 onwards are likely to have this. In BC, only homes built early 2013 onwards and in the interior are likely to have this. Homes on the BC coast are still not required to have this. A radon mitigation rough-in is not an active mitigation device. It is there to make it easier and most cost-effective to install a future device.

No, radon is only understood to trigger cancer following chronic exposure over a long period of time. If you are experiencing immediate breathing difficulties or allergy-like symptoms after moving into a new environment, it is very unlikely to be due to radon. We suggest you consult your family doctor. This does not mean, however, you should not be testing for radon to protect against long term cancer risk.

New homes should only be tested in the second winter from the time the foundation was built. That is because the foundation will continue to “cure” (shrink) for 18 months from the time it was poured. As it cures, the gaps between the foundation and the walls of the basement will change, impacting how radon enters the home.

Generally speaking, if you are carrying out major renovations to the property, you should wait until they are completed before testing for radon. These include things such as: developing a basement, replacing the roof or windows, installing new furnaces or air conditioning units, installing or removing fireplaces, installing or removing fans, installing or exchanging building insulation and other major changes that may impact how air is leaving, entering or being retained in the property. Minor renovations, such as painting walls, changing carpets, or replacing appliances will not impact a radon reading and so are not a reason to delay testing.

We find that there is only a 10-20% difference in radon between floors, due to how well most of our homes air mixes. So, if the main floor reads 200 Bq/m3, then most likely the basement will be 10-20% higher (so 220-240 Bq/m3) and the upper floor will likely be 160-180 Bq/m3).

Although radon levels are typically highest in the basement, you want to test the air that you are most often breathing. In some cases, you might only go down to the basement a few minutes a week (to do laundry or check the furnace, for example). In that case, place the test on the next floor up. In other cases, you might not spend 4+ hours per day in the basement, but may go down for 0.5-4 hours some days and 4+ hours others. In those cases, it makes sense still to test the basement, as you are breathing that air for prolonged periods. This is especially true if you have any exercise equipment in the basement, as while using that you will be breathing more heavily and so be exposed to more of the radon in that air.

Place your test device on the lowest level of your home. There is a loop for hanging the device from the ceiling or a light fixture. Suspending the test device from your ceiling will help to keep the it safe and unharmed during the testing period.

Most frequently, this is because something went wrong when you registered your device. When deploying your device, you need to log into to www.radonova.com/evictradon/ and use your specific commission number and password to provide the start time of the test and the vital home metric information required by researchers. You also need to provide the email address (or other mode of communication) you wish to receive your results at. It is also essential to log back in at the conclusion of the test and enter the end date. If you have not done this, but have sent your kit back to the lab, usually all that is needed is for you to provide the information just described (as instructed) to get your result. More rarely, kits are lost or damaged during shipping. We can usually track this, and if found to be the case, we will issue another test for the next available season. 

As long as your test device remains sealed in the industrial grade plastic bag it arrives in (no punctures), then you can deploy it in the next available testing season (next available Fall). A test can be initiated any time from early September to early March to obtain a suitable 90+ day test within period recommended by Health Canada.

Based on our recent findings, we found that the existing dogma – that radon is typically higher during winter heating months – no longer applies uniformly, at least within North America, where nearly half of residences showed consistent radon all year, and a quarter demonstrate higher summer radon. For this reason, we encourage radon testing all year long. Our radon devices must be left for a minimum of 90 days. However, if testing during the spring, summer, or early fall we recommend 6 months to a year. 

For the most accurate test results, the radon test device must be placed inside a home for 90+ days.

Our scientists perform hundreds of control tests to ensure quality and accuracy. These tests include blanks (un-exposed tests put through the whole process to ensure quality), duplicates (you may receive a second test device at no cost, which must be placed side-by-side with the first test so we can ensure reproducibility of readings) and spiked positives (tests we send to labs to be exposed to known amounts of radon, to ensure that devices are accurate).

An advantage to testing with a research project like Evict Radon is that the scientists perform hundreds of controls to ensure your radon reading is “gold standard”. These include:

  • Blanks, un-exposed tests put through the entire process to ensure precision and accuracy
  • Duplicates
  • Spiked positives, tests we send to the lab to ensure that devices are precise 

In addition to ensuring your radon test result is as accurate as possible, your data will be used for the betterment of Canadian Health and society to further research into cancer prevention research. 

Everything we do and say, has been approved by the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board, which ensures that there are no conflicts of interest, that your data is held securely and safely, and that the risks of participation are both minimized and fully disclosed. 

The test is done at cost. Evict Radon is a research funded project and we do not make a profit from the sale of test kits.

For $51.99, you’ll receive everything needed to ensure your radon test result is as accurate as possible. This includes: 

  • Shipping to home address
  • Radtrak2 – long term radon test
  • Placement and registration Instructions
  • Fees for radon analysis and reporting
  • Report at the end of analysis

IMPORTANT: In order to meet new Canada Post rules, return shipping labels are not included. Return shipping as “small packet” with Canada Post will cost approximately $10 without tracking.

Simple! On our website you’ll see a yellow ‘Purchase my test’ button (or if using a mobile device, the button is on the bottom banner of your phone or tablet), click that and you’ll be prompted to review our research terms and conditions. Read the Ts & Cs and enter your email address at the bottom. By doing this, you are letting us know that you consent to being a part of the research project. Your information will be protected under the University of Calgary ethics board. After you enter your email, you will be directed to our C-NRPP certified test provider RadonWest. There you will be able to order your $51.99 radon test. If you have any problems ordering your test, please contact us. 

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