How do I interpret my radon results?

Having completed your test, you should have received an email with your radon levels, 4-6 weeks after shipping the device back (if not check your junk folder!). It looks something like this:

There are three groups:

  1. Low Risk – radon is less than 100 Bq/m3
  2. Intermediate Risk – radon is between 100 – 199 Bq/m3
  3. High Risk – radon is at or above 200 Bq/m3

Low Risk Group: Breathe easy

Phew! Your radon levels are low and you can now breathe easy knowing, in this house, you and your family are not at risk. Please note: Health Canada recommends retesting every few years, or if a major home renovation takes place. Encourage a neighbour or friend to test their home for radon.

Tell a friend!

High Risk Group: Mitigation recommended

CAUTION! Your radon test results are over the maximum exposure limit for Canada. At this level, you, your family, and especially your children are at risk of future radon-induced lung cancer. Our team and Health Canada highly recommend that you have your home mitigated by a C-NRPP professional. Don’t worry, in Canada, radon mitigation techniques are very effective.

What is mitigation? > 

Find a C-NRPP professional in my area

Intermediate Risk Group: Should I have my home mitigated?

Any level above 100 Bq/m3 represents a statistically significant increase in the lifetime relative risk of lung cancer for those being exposed chronically to it. Indeed, the WHO deferred to the amount of radon where a statistically observable increase in lifetime risk of lung cancer is clear and significant – this is 100 Bq/m3. Health Canada set our “maximum exposure limit” 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 understand 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 exposure limit. 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 still has a measurable impact on your long term health. Our advice if your home is above 100 Bq/m3 is to evaluate your relative risk and exposure by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Are there 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+). To find out why click here.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 of 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.
  5. 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, jewellers, machinists, black smithery, 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.

More on mitigation and how it works  >

We’re here to help

Radon can be a scary topic, we completely understand. Not sure about your test results or how to move forward with a mitigation system? Contact us, we’re happy to answer any of your questions. 

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