Research finds short-term radon test kits are not effective in measuring radon gas exposure

phys.org | 1/23/2014 | Staff
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As awareness increases about the health danger of radon gas, more people are making the decision to test their homes for the deadly gas. A University of Calgary led study finds the only reliable way to measure exposure to radon gas is with a long-term testing kit, which takes readings within the home for 90 or more days.

"Radon gas levels can fluctuate wildly day to day," says Dr. Aaron Goodarzi, Ph.D., assistant professor in the departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Oncology and member of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM). "Short term tests can give a false sense of alarm, or worse, a false sense of security as they cannot precisely predict long term exposure."

Researchers - Test - Kits - Term - Term

Researchers placed two test kits, a short term (five-day) and long term (90-day) in the same homes. Tests were conducted during summer and winter months. Findings showed the short-term kits were imprecise up to 99 percent of the time when compared to a long term test.

Radon is a known carcinogen. Health Canada lists radon as the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. The gas is naturally occurring, colourless, and odorless. It can accumulate to unnaturally high and dangerous levels in homes. Health Canada has promoted the use of long-term testing kits for some time.

Recommendation - Research - Authorities - US - Europe

"Our recommendation was based on research from international authorities including the US and Europe," says Kelley Bush, manager, radon education and awareness Health Canada. "This research is critical because it provides Canadian data that confirms the value of long term testing."

Goodarzi has also...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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