How Do I Lower My Risk?
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​When it comes to radon gas causing lung cancer the following factors affect risk. The more you can reduce all, or any, of these factors the lower your risk of lung cancer will be: 

  • Concentration of radon,
  • Amount of exposure over a lifetime, and
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke. 

Immediate, short-term actions for high radon situations

If radon in your home is at a level where you are concerned about the immediate affects to your health you can do one or more of the following while you wait for construction repairs to be completed:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend in high radon areas of your home or building. For example, limit the use of the basement to storage
  • Open window(s) to increase ventilation and allow the radon gas to escape to the outdoor air

Lowering radon concentration

To lower the radon concentration in a home or building for the long-term do, or arrange for a Radon Professional, to do one or more of the following:

  • Increase the fresh air ventilation by adjusting the HVAC system

  • Seal basement or crawlspace floors, especially dirt floors
  • Seal cracks and openings in foundation walls and floors, and around pipes and drains
  • Seal obvious openings in the floor slab, such as sump pits, cracks, and ensure floor drain and unused fixture traps stay filled with water (cover water with vegetable oil to slow evapouration)
  • Install an active soil depressurization system.

Active soil depressurization is the best and most permanent method for reducing radon because it provides an alternate path for the radon gas to travel rather than into the building. The cost can range between $350 and $3000 depending upon site-specifics.

The following are resources about lowering radon concentration:

Note: Remember to complete another long-term radon test to know your fix worked.

Lowering amount of time exposed

Exposure to radon can also be reduced by spending less time in rooms with higher radon levels.  Basements often have the highest concentration of radon because the walls and floors are touching the soil. Exposure to radon can be reduced by:

  • Limiting basement space to occasional use, like storage
  • Having main bedrooms on above-ground levels  

Note: Ensure the lowest level of the building that has people in it for greater than 4 hours per day is tested for radon to know your actual risk.

Lowering exposure to tobacco smoke

Smokers who are also exposed to high radon are 25% more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers (Health Canada). If you are unable to reduce the amount of radon you are exposed to, you can significantly reduce your risk of lung cancer by reducing the amount of tobacco smoke to which you are exposed.

 

MoH     PCQO