Is there radon in your home?
Researchers at Simon Fraser University are conducting a study of radon levels on the North Shore and Sunshine Coast. Borrow a radon detection kit to test your home's radon levels and participate in the study! Place your hold today.
The Radon Detection Library lending program is made possible through support from Health Canada, the BC Lung Association, Simon Fraser University, and a generous donation from Airthings. For a full list of libraries participating in this program, please click here.
Each kit (4 week loan) includes:
- 1 radon detector
- 1 instruction sheet
- 3 informational brochures:
Before you return your kit:
- We encourage you to enter your data into the anonymous online survey. The link is also included in your radon kit. If you would like follow-up, you can enter your email address.
- Re-set the radon detector (see FAQ below) to remove your data and protect your privacy!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas; it is an air hazard in homes and workplaces, as long-term exposure is clearly linked to lung cancer. Radon gas comes from naturally occurring uranium in soils and rocks and some regions in Canada have more uranium than others. Radon levels in homes can be elevated but it is impossible to tell unless you test as the gas is odorless, tasteless and colorless. There are a range of devices that can be used to determine radon levels in homes and testing is recommended in basements or rooms that have ground level contact as the gas enters homes through cracks or holes in foundations and can accumulate in these areas.
- What radon detector model is the Library lending?
The Library is lending Corentium Home model radon detectors made by Airthings, a Norway-based tech company. They are about the size of a cellphone, and have a digital display which allows you to start seeing readings in about 24 hours, although the device needs at least 7 days to provide an accurate reading.
- What kinds of homes can be tested? What if I live in an apartment building or a basement suite?
Radon detectors are usually recommended for people who live in ground-level contact homes, including single-family dwellings, duplexes, townhouses, and basement suites; however, you can use a radon detector in any home, including apartment buildings, as radon can sometimes be found in non-ground level homes due to poor ventilation.
- Where do I put my radon kit?
Radon detectors should be placed in rooms at the lowest level of the home where you and your family spend lots of time. Don't put it near a window, door, or air vent, and keep it out of direct sunlight and water vapour, as these can all impact the readings.
- How do I start the radon detector?
Press the reset button on the back of the device. It will then clear any remaining data, and begin a 24-hour countdown for a reading. You will start to see numbers displayed after 24 hours.
- How long do I need to measure my radon levels for?
Testing for at least 7 days is recommended, but it's best to monitor for one month to gather the most accurate data from this device. The intent of providing radon detectors for loan is to give you an idea of the radon levels in your home, so that after this preliminary screening you can decide whether you want to continue monitoring your home with one of the low-cost kits that are available from BC Lung or other local providers.
- What is the Health Canada guideline for radon levels?
The Government of Canada recommends changes to your home if your average radon level result is above 200 Bq/m3.
- How do I interpret the results from my device?
The reading on your device is a "snapshot" of the radon levels in your home. The numbers on the display are readings of radioactivity in the air, measured in Bequerels per meters cubed (Bq/m3). The Long Term Average displayed is calculated over the full time the device has been in use since it was last reset. The Short Term Average is the average per day, up to a week. The average is used because the levels can vary substantially over the day.
- If your daily average result exceeds 100Bq/m3, you may wish to consider purchasing your own radon detector and conducting long-term testing in your home.
- If your daily average result exceeds 200Bq/m3, it is recommended that you reduce your exposure. There are steps you can take right away to lower radon levels and there are certified professionals you can contact that will help to reduce the amount of radon entering your home; contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your radon levels are above 200Bq/m3.
- If you have questions or want to discuss your results, contact Simon Fraser University researchers at email@example.com
- How do I reset my radon detector?
The radon detector can be reset by pressing "Reset" indent on the back of the device with the point of a pen.