The majority of cities and towns in Canada have been built on high radon potential soils. This includes the BC interior, the Yukon, the Prairies, the Greater Toronto Area, much of Quebec and the Atlantic province region.
Canada is a very large country with many areas of VERY HIGH RADON POTENTIAL (meaning >300 Bq/kg of surficial geology – see Monograph #7 for details).
Canada also has STRONG SEASONAL FLUCTUATIONS in weather and temperature – meaning our winters are often very cold, and our summers are very hot. Collectively, this environment causes Canadians to spend a great deal of time inside either artificially warmed or cooled indoor air environments. Such environments have the potential for highly concentrated radon levels.
Without knowing it, Canadians have settled and built our villages, towns and cities on soils with very high radon potential, and we have designed and build houses that are very ‘good’ radon capture and contain devices. Thus, Canadians are among the MORE RADON-EXPOSED POPULATIONS on Earth.
It is important to recognize that this problem is preventable but, by and large, is no-one’s
What the science says:
There have been several recent studies on Canadian radon exposure including:
Publications comparing Canadian radon to countries all over the globe (Gaskin et al., 2018 and Stanley et al., 2019 (LINK) ).
Radon Across Western Prairies
The North American Prairies is a region of exceptionally high geologic radon potential. On average, 1 in 6 Prairie homes are >200 Bq/m3. Residents of this area are amongst the most radon-exposed people on Earth.
The surficial geology of North American Prairies is comprised of a lot of soils left behind as glaciers retreated during the last ice-age. This is called “GLACIAL TILL”, and contains a great deal of radon-generating minerals such as radium, thorium and uranium.
There is so much radium in areas of Western Canada, they’ve named towns after it! Who amongst us have enjoyed the hot springs in the town of Radium, BC?
Canada has a lot of uranium, and is amongst the most prolific miners and exporters of this mineral in the world. These mines are predominantly in Northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
We have mapped radon levels in the indoor air across the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, finding that 1 in 6 HOMES EXCEED 200 Bq/m3 – the maximum tolerated dose exposure limit that is indicated by Health Canada. Thus, it is not surprising we have as many radon-induced cancers as we do.
What the science says:
Evict Radon Canadian university researchers have found that W. Prairie residences contained an average (geometric mean) of 108 Bq/m3, with 17.8% being ≥200 Bq/m3. The highest observed so far is 7,199 Bq/m3.
Reference: Stanley et al. Radon exposure is rising steadily within the modern North American residential environment, and is increasingly uniform across seasons. In Press, 2019.
Urban vs. Rural Radon
Both urban and rural Canadian homes can have high radon. However, in more isolated, rural areas of North America there are additional considerations such as radon exposure via well water, proximity to fracking and/or access to radon mitigation services.
There are big differences between properties in highly urbanized, large population centres vs. the rural, low population density areas of any country. Rural regions tend to have fewer high rise apartments and more larger detached homes – both of which mean higher radon.
In cities, any radon dissolved in water is ‘scrubbed out’ at treatment plants. In rural homes relying on well water, however, radon can de-gas from the water into the home unless precautions are taken.
A recent study found that homes closer to fracking operations (injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks to force open fissures) showed statistically higher radon. The reason is still unclear.
If a radon mitigation is required, remote locations means that a professional may incur logistical issues (long distance) to complete the jb. As a result, it is possible that rural radon mitigation may be more costly compared to urban areas.
What the science says:
In a recent survey in Ohio, scientists measured the amount of radon in homes as a function of the area population density and distance from 1,162 known fracking operations. Rural homes and/or those closest to the fracking wells showed higher radon vs. urban area homes.
Thank you for your interest in Evict Radon. Evict Radon test kits will be available in October 2019. Please enter your email and we will notify you when kits are available for purchase.
Extensive research indicates that radon testing is most accurate during the winter months. Because of this, we only accept research participants and sell Evict Radon test kits from October – February 29th. If you wish to join our 2019/2020 Evict Radon research study, please enter your email below to be added to our waitlist. We will contact you when kits become available for purchase in October 2019.
Thank you for your interest in Evict Radon research awareness and testing study. Before consenting to participate, we ask you please read and be aware of the study terms and conditions. It is very important that you understand this information, and that this is a citizen science-based study that requires you to purchase a specific radon testing kit (at cost) via our project. We thank you in advance for your time.
Included in an Evict Radon test kit
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.
A list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions may be found at https://evictradon.org/faq/ and you can always email us at [email protected]
If at any point you wish to withdraw from our study, or have any concerns about the nature of this research study, please contact [email protected] If you have any questions concerning your rights as a possible participant in this research, please contact the Chair of the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board, Research Services, University of Calgary. The University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board has approved this research study. Study Ethics ID = REB19-1522
BY ENTERING YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, YOU CONSENT TO JOIN THIS STUDY AND WILL BE DIRECTED TO THE SECURE WEBSTORE WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE YOUR KIT.
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