You’ve heard of radon. You know radon gas exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and that it can be present in high concentrations indoors. You want to ensure the air in your home is safe to breathe but you don’t own it: you rent. What can you do to help your family breathe easy?
Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. In an effort to solve Canada’s large and worsening radon-gas exposure problem, Evict Radon sells quality-controlled national study test kits for $51.99. By purchasing one of our kits, you’re also contributing to public sector cancer research by consenting to join with our team of University researchers from across Canada to understand and ultimately engineer radon from our homes.
The testing period should be a minimum of 90 days and can be done any time of year. When the test period is complete, you will need to mail the device to a lab for analysis to receive your results. If the radon level in your home is less than 200 Bq/m3, no further action is required at this time; if the level is higher than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada recommends remediation within one to two years, depending on the concentration.
Speak with Your Landlord
If your home’s radon level is greater than 200 Bq/m3, it is important to advise your landlord. If they are unfamiliar with the dangers of radon gas, you can refer them to Evict Radon, CARST.ca, or takeactiononradon.ca, an initiative funded by Health Canada. It’s also important to provide them with a copy of the results; should they sell the property in the future, they may be required to disclose the home’s radon level to potential buyers.
As issues surrounding residential tenancy fall within provincial jurisdiction, you should check with your provincial government to see if your landlord is required to remediate. If they are not mandated to mitigate and/or if they choose not to do so, opening windows to increase air flow may help reduce radon levels.
If you feel unsafe living in a house with elevated levels of radon, your only recourse may be to move out. It is important to remember, however, that the risk of lung cancer is greatest with long-term exposure to increased radon concentrations.
“Resources for Renters.” CARST, https://carst.ca/resources/Documents/Landlord-Tenants/Renters_Radon_ENGLISH.pdf. Accessed 2 February 2021.
Quastel et al. Environmental Scan of Radon Law and Policy: Best Practices in Canada and the European Union. Toronto and Burnaby: Canadian Environmental Law Association and CAREX Canada. 2018.