What You Should Know About Radon Gas in Homes

Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is found in soil, rock, and water. It is formed by the decay of uranium and thorium in the earth's crust. When radon is released into the air, it can enter homes through cracks and other openings in the foundation. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, which makes it difficult to detect without specialized equipment.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after smoking. It is estimated that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States every year. Therefore, it is important for home buyers to be aware of the potential for radon in homes and take steps to test for it.

radon gas test kit

Here are some key things that home buyers should know about radon gas:

  1. Radon can be found in all types of homes, regardless of age, size, or location.

  2. Radon levels can vary widely from one home to another, even if they are located next to each other.

  3. The only way to know if a home has elevated levels of radon is to test for it. Testing is easy and inexpensive, and can be done by a professional or with a do-it-yourself kit.

  4. If elevated levels of radon are found, there are effective ways to reduce them. Radon mitigation systems can be installed in homes to reduce radon levels to safe levels.

  5. When buying a home, it is important to ask the seller if they have tested for radon and what the results were. If the home has not been tested, it is recommended that the buyer have the home tested before purchasing.


Due to geological factors, some areas in British Columbia have naturally higher surface levels of radon than others. The BC Centre for Disease Control has a detailed interactive map that displays indoor radon levels recorded in homes across BC. It also shows estimates for the increase in lung cancer risk caused by radon (both overall and for smokers). 


In summary, home buyers should be aware of the potential for radon gas in homes and take steps to test for it. If elevated levels of radon are found, there are effective ways to reduce them, so it is important to take action to ensure the safety of you and your family.

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