Mom and Pop House Tests Low for Radon!

Congratulations to mom and dad Simon for having such a low concentration of radon in their home in Russell, Ontario. My parents live in a single family, 2 story house with a slab on grade foundation in the basement. I deployed a long-term eperm device in their basement on October 1. I recently finished analyzing the device and now I am happy to know they are living in radon safe house with a radon concentration level of 33 Becquerels per cubic meter.

For those who are not aware, radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in bedrock and soil beneath houses. This gas infiltrates the house via the basement by seeping through tiny cracks, unnoticeable gaps, sump-pumps, holes, etc. This gas can get trapped in houses and build up to high concentrations. The radon concentration remains unknown in any given house until it is tested. The radon concentration can vary greatly from house to house as there are many variables involved.

Fortunately, my parents no longer have to wonder about radon in their home. They can rest easy knowing they are at a very low risk of developing lung cancer due to radon.

If anyone would like a radon measurement done in their home, feel free to call Simon Air Quality at 613-866-2092 or visit for more information.




Composition of Pollutants in our Indoor Air

Indoor pollution has become very rampant in the modern world. What exactly is contained in the so-called indoor pollutants? The chemicals and harmful gasses vary in the level of harm from one pollutant to another. Following is a list of pollutants composition in indoor air.

  1. Carbon monoxide
  2. Formaldehyde
  3. Benzene
  4. Nitrogen dioxide
  5. Naphthalene

These are the highest, most dangerous indoor air pollutants; However, there are still some other less hazardous but still harmful ones.

  1. Tobacco smoke

Smoking tobacco is the major cause of most indoor emissions which lead to various health effects. Second-hand tobacco smoke is associated with coronary heart disease and irritation, respiratory system diseases in adults. In children, it causes mid-ear infections and sudden death syndrome.

  1. Lead

Lead is a common metal in our households as it is used to manufacture a lot of things. It was majorly used for paint manufacturing, but it has since been banned. This is because it has adverse effects on people’s health due to indoor air pollution. To children, even the smallest exposure to lead is a major concern to their slowly developing bodies.

  1. Phosphates

This is a major pollutant of indoor air. High and unprotected exposure leads to diseases such as asthma and rhinitis. The good news is that it is very unlikely for this pollutant to have adverse health effects when inhaled from indoor air. Scientific reports state that phosphates are not considered a major health concern.

  1. Radon

This gas occurs naturally and comes from the ground. This particular emission is experienced where the bedrock has high levels of uranium. To get indoors, radon diffuses through the soil into the building. It is a major indoor pollutant and even more hazardous since it leads to lung cancer.

  1. Organophosphate pesticides

This chemical is a composition of the pesticides we use at our homes to get rid of insects. This indoor pollutant leads to the damage of the nervous system. It, therefore, has extremely adverse effects on children. Indoor exposure to this pollutants is common since it can be ingested or inhaled from the surfaces, the quantities available indoors might not be big enough to give adverse effects immediately, but it does in the long run upon inhalation of these chemicals.

  1. Volatile organic compounds

These are present in the majority of consumer products and decomposing materials. The major categories are benzene, naphthalene, and formaldehyde. Volatile organic compounds will react with the ozone layer to form harmful indoor gasses. Similarly, when some holes hold items are dispose of, their decaying leads to the emission of yet another gas that pollutes indoor air. The levels of volatile organic compounds in a home may serve as an indicator of the quality of the air that is contained indoors.

Radon: How Indoor and Outdoor Levels Lead to Lung Cancer

In today’s world, indoor and outdoor air has become a major issue. If the human race is not careful to look into how the air is polluted, we could be putting our lives on the line. It is vital for us to consider the harmful effects and the huge impacts of the air pollution we inhale. There are numerous precautions we can take to ensure cleanliness of our air. We need to take necessary precaution to manage air pollution to deal with harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, sulphur, and radon among others.

Credible research has surged in the past decade that links environmental quality of air to causality of chronic respiratory problems and more severe conditions such as lung cancer. The effects of poor indoor and outdoor air quality are even more graphic.

Among the most prevalent impurities in the air is radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released from decay of soil, radium rocks, thorium and uranium. It is invisible, colourless, and tasteless. It seeps through the ground into the atmosphere. Radon gas exists in trace amounts in well-ventilated areas but in closed areas such as underground mines, it exists in substantial amounts that heighten the risk of lung cancer. Therefore, everybody breathes radon; however, it is the amount of inhaled radon that makes the difference.

Radon infiltrates through cracks that are in the floor, walls, foundation and accumulates indoors. It may also be released from building materials and from water in wells that contain radon. It is particularly high in well-insulated homes, tightly sealed enclosures and houses that are built on soils that are rich in uranium, thorium and radium. Outdoor air has lower levels of radon concentration since seawaters that have minimal radium levels act as sinks. The outdoor levels of radon are determined majorly by soil characteristics, meteorological conditions and local topology.

So, how does radon lead to lung cancer? This gas decays at very high rates releasing small radioactive particles. When the tiny particles are inhaled, they damage the cells that line the respiratory system. As a result, long-term exposure leads to lung cancer. Did you know that lung cancer is the only cancer proven to be related with inhaling radon?

Homes should be tested for radon. Homes in the same neighbourhood can have different levels of radon. Therefore, testing for radon is the only way to establish the severity of radon in your home. Also, radon testing is an easy and affordable process that can help you manage the risk of the gas. Lung cancer cases can be greatly minimized or avoided if the levels of radon both indoors and outdoors are well managed. Reducing radon levels can be done by sealing cracks in the floor and walls, or by altering the flow of air in a building.