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Is There A Killer Lurking In Your Home?

Posted by Sherry Rioux on March 11, 2009
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A few weeks ago, I read a blog post  written by one of my favourite home inspectors about radon gas.  For years we’ve heard rumours that this may become the “next big thing” and suddenly, it seems to be here.

Radon gas is an invisible and radioactive gas that may be present in cellars, basements and crawl spaces of our homes.  It is the second leading cause of lung cancer, next to smoking.  According to Steve, “It exists naturally in the environment in very low concentrations. Radon comes from uranium in the soil. While uranium is not present in significant quantities in most geographical areas, traces of uranium in the soil exist everywhere. As uranium breaks down, it produces radon gas.”

Then a few week’s ago, I was reading my latest issue of Maclean’s magazine and lo and behold, there’s a headline that says, “Feds look into Canada’s killer homes” and it’s all about radon.  It says that while radon is hardly new, the Federal government is suddenly anxious to investigate further to find out which neighbourhoods are particularly at risk.  They plan to spend almost $1 million testing 18,000 randomly selected homes to pinpoint possible danger zones.

There are do-it-yourself test kits available at hardware stores for around $50.00 but resolution is best left to the professionals.  I doubt most of us have reason to run out and buy a kit however, I can predict the day will come that insurers will require testing in certain zones.  This is an issue to keep our eye on in the real estate industry.

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