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Radon. What is Radon Radon is emitted from the decay of radium It’s a radioactive gas that’s found naturally in the environment.

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Presentation on theme: "Radon. What is Radon Radon is emitted from the decay of radium It’s a radioactive gas that’s found naturally in the environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Radon

2 What is Radon Radon is emitted from the decay of radium It’s a radioactive gas that’s found naturally in the environment

3 What is Radon Radon is emitted from uranium bearing soil and porous rock Is classified as a carcinogen and known to cause lung cancer

4 What causes Radon Exposure Since radon gas is native to the soil and rock, in some areas it migrates into the air and is called soil gas Radon gas then accumulates in areas with poor ventilation (e.g. basements, crawl spaces, mines)

5 History of Radon and Humans Humans have reportedly suffered adverse health effects from radon gas since the 16 th century Schneeberg lung disease or “Miners” disease as it was known, was causing adverse health effects and early death in the miners of Saxony, Germany

6 History of Radon and Humans In the late 1890s scientists Becquerel and Currie discovered the radioactive properties of radium

7 Why are we concerned about Radon? It is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas It is a form of ionizing radiation known to cause cancer

8 Why are we concerned about Radon? Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking Smokers are 6 times more at risk than “never smokers”

9 Who does Radon affect? Since radon accumulates in low, poorly vented areas such as basements it is of concern to home owners and to those living in basement apartments These areas are the primary environments where humans and animals are exposed to radioactivity from radon

10 Home owners risk is increasing each year Every new home is built tighter and more energy efficient Older homes were made to breath as thus removed trapped gasses Renovations to new & older homes should include radon testing to ensure gasses concentrations are not increased Who does Radon affect?

11 Why should HKPR be Concerned? Due to our northern climate we spend a significant amount of time indoors throughout the year Canada, for many years, was the top exporter of uranium Concerns arise for HKPR since we have many areas within our boundaries that have fractured rock

12 Does HKPR have Radon? Bancroft & Cardiff areas have many decommissioned uranium mines Various mines throughout Haliburton and Peterborough Counties have been mined for Uranium Local mines have been extracting uranium from early 1930s to around 1965

13 Does HKPR have Radon? Port Hope is known to have more than 1.7 million cubic meters of low level radio active waste This waste originated from the Eldorado refinery which started refining radium from ore in the 1930s Eldorado was refining the radium for medical and industrial uses

14 Map of Radon in Ontario


16 Homes at Risk Age of the home does not matter Any home could have radon – Slab on grade – Crawl space – Full basement

17 Homes at Risk Radon gets in through: 1.Cracks in solid floors 2.Construction joints 3.Cracks in walls 4.Gaps in suspended floors 5.Gaps around service pipes 6.Cavities inside walls 7.The water supply

18 How to Manage Radon Health Canada encourages testing should be done in all homes Cost is $15-100 Since radon gas is natural to the environment everyone to some degree is exposed

19 How do we test our homes? Testing is easy and should only take a few minutes of your time. Purchase a test kit from any home improvement store, or online semt/radiation/radon/testing-analyse-eng.php

20 How do we test our homes? Follow the instructions in where to place the detectors Send the detector to the specified lab for testing semt/radiation/radon/testing-analyse-eng.php

21 When should we be concerned? Those who live in areas with high levels of radon gas in the soil are more at risk Miners work in areas with high concentrations they are exposed for a short time Those who live with radon gas in their homes are exposed at lower concentrations but for longer periods, increasing risk of exposure

22 Measured in Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m 3 ) in Canada and picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) in USA Long term testing (3-12 months) – Acceptable level = less than 200Bq/m 3 Sample results greater than 200 Bq/m 3 remedial action is recommended When should we be concerned?

23 Retrofitting semt/alt_formats/pdf/pubs/radiation/radon_canadians- canadiens/radon_canadians-canadien-eng.pdf

24 Cheaper to install a passive system during construction 2010 National building code requires basic protection against soil gas entry Ontario Building Code does not mention soil gases 2012 BC Building Code requires rough in for soil gas venting in residences as well as non-residental semt/radiation/radon/remediation-attenuation- eng.php

25 Ontario Radon Working Group Currently in Ontario there is a radon working group consisting of members from Health units and Health Canada – Trying to raise awareness in home owners – Trying to better educate local building officials on soil gas and radon

26 Thank-you Questions?

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