NOTICE: Radon testing during Spring & Summer (April to August)  

You are interested in obtaining a radon test kit during Spring or Summer period (April to August). The latest Canadian radon research shows that there is no statistically significant difference between long term 90+ day test outcomes performed at different times of year (seasons). However, health authorities still recommend performing most of this test during colder months. We want you to be aware you have three options:

  1. Perform a 180+ (6 month) test, starting now
  2. Wait until mid-September, and perform a 90+ day (3 month) test
  3. Deploy your test for an entire year

The device is only active once you have opened the plastic bag surrounding it. The most important thing is to accurately record the start and end date of the test, via the registration process. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Radon is a gas that no human sense can detect. It is dangerous as it is unstable and radioactive. As we breath it in, radon will emit alpha particle radiation and precipitate as solid radioactive metals within our lungs.

Radon emits alpha particle radiation, which, as it has mass, is very different to the more commonly known (and less dangerous) x-ray radiation that is made up of photons (light). For a given dose, alpha particle radiation deposits much more energy per unit of distance (what is called higher ‘linear energy transfer’) compared to x-rays, making it more hazardous.

Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days, meaning that, in that period of time, 50% of a given amount of radon will have emitted an alpha particle and transformed into the next element in the chain of radioactive decay -in this case, solid radioactive polonium-210.

Canadian Discovery 

Radon was discovered in the late 1800’s by Canadian scientists Harriet Brooks and Ernst Rutherford at McGill University. Its ability to cause cancer was discovered in the 1950-1970’s in Canadian uranium miners. Very high residential radon was 1st discovered in the 1980’s.

What the science says:

In his 1904 book Radioactivity, Rutherford described the first experiments showing that radon –which he had called the ‘radium emanation’ –arose from the earth and accumulated in caves and cellars with undisturbed air.

Reference: Rutherford, E. Radioactivity of the Atmosphere and Ordinary Materials. Radioactivity. Cambridge University Press. 1904, Chapter 11, Section 212, pages 357-362.

Dna.

The alpha particle radiation emitted by radon damages DNA in such a way that it is very difficult (impossible) for our cells to heal without causing genetic mutations. There is no dose of particle radiation that does not cause DNA damage.

Key information:

  1. Four alpha particles are emitted for every radon atom that decays in our lungs. The first three are emitted quickly, as the radon transforms into longer-lived radioactive lead (210Pb).
  2. As alpha particles pass through lung cells, they cause serious DNA damage – the key ‘instructions’ for life that controls health. This damage is almost always clustered together in a very small space and also contains many different complex damage types.
  3. Our cells can repair DNA damage and, most of the time, this is quick and accurate meaning few genetic mutations arise. However, our cells are not good at repairing alpha particle-induced DNA damage quickly or accurately. As a result of this, and unlike the more simple DNA damage from other types of radiation (such as x-rays), there is functionally no dose of particle radiation that is “safe” in terms of ‘consequence (mutation)-free’ DNA damage induction and repair.
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