Monday, 2 January 2017

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 http://www.simonairquality.com for more information.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

5 Steps To Take When Adressing Radon Concerns in your Home

STEP 1 ~ Purchase a short-term test or hire a professional to administer a long-term test. Radon test kits can be purchased at common hardware stores. Pick one up and follow the instructions to deploy the radon detector in your home. If it's a short-term test, it will tell you to keep the house under close-house conditions 12 hours prior to deploying the device as well as during the entire time the device remains in your home. "Closed house conditions" simply means to close or prevent natural/manual ventilation as well as mechanical ventilation that exchanges inside air for outside air. Examples of these include: windows, doors, fireplaces, HRVs. Also remember there are clearances to be followed when deploying the device. In addition, some detectors might require you to take note of the temperature and relative humidity during the testing period. In addition, abnormal weather conditions like storms, high winds, hurricanes, etc will skew the results of the test. Once the testing period is up, you can "de-activate" the detector and ship it off to the lab for analysis. If you are not comfortable with deploying the device, don't hesitate to call a certified radon measurement professional to take care of all of this for you.
STEP 2 ~ Obtain results from the radon measurement professional or from a credited laboratory and interpret results. Once the laboratory or radon measurement professional emails you the results, find out the radon concentration. Now there are currently 3 guidelines to consider when we think about radon exposure limits. Health Canada set a guideline of 200 Bq/m3. The EPA set a guideline of aprox. 150 Bq/m3. The World Health Organization set a guideline of 100 Bq/m3. Each of these regulating bodies recommend mitigating your home of radon if the radon concentration in your home exceeds their respected guidelines. It's entirely up to you what guideline you would like to follow. Do remember that any amount of radon in your home is bad. Although we cannot live in an environment completely free of radon, we do have the resources and technology that allows us to alter our environment and live in a habitat with extremely low radon concentration.
STEP 3 ~ Want to mitigate? Here are your options. If not, go to step 4. Option A - Employ extra means of ventilating your home to dilute the radon concentration in your home. Examples include installing an HRV or setting up more fans throughout the house, including window fans. Option B - Pressurize your basement to overcome the positive pressure coming from the ground in order to supress the radon gas and limit the amount of radon from seeping into the basement. In adition, sealing your basement of all cracks and gaps and spaces in and around the foundation will help significantly. Option C - Active Soil Depressurization = Apply negative pressure to the soil/ground beneath your basement floor by installing a venting appliance. These systems should be rated for radon and properly installed to ensure effective and efficient removal of radon. Once again, if you are not comfortable or do not know absolutely everything about radon mitigation, please talk to a certified professional.
STEP 4 ~ Keep an eye on your radon concentration. If you had your house mitigated of radon using active soil depressurization, perform a short-term test to make sure the system is functioning properly. If you tested a radon concentration below the guideline, but very close, it is recommended you test in 1 year or less. If the test result is drastically lower than the guideline, consider re-testing in 2 years.
STEP 5 ~ SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED AND RECOMMEND ANY PROFESSIONALS WHO HELPED YOU ALONG THE WAY Maybe your neighbors could benefit from the things you learned about. Maybe your neighbors have a really high concentration of radon and they are completely oblivious to it. Maybe you know someone who was diagnosed with lung cancer and now they want to employ preventative measures by limiting their exposure to things that have the potential to cause cancer. Considering radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, it would benefit anyone who has a lung condition.

For more information, call or visit Simon Air Quality at www.simonairquality.com

Monday, 12 September 2016

Review from Last Client Regarding Radon Mitigation

My wife and I are very satisfied with the goods and services received from Simon Air Quality. Mark, the owner, performed the radon gas detection test and has provided and installed the mitigation equipment. Mark is courteous and respectful of client needs; his methods are sound, his communications clear. The work was performed professionally, on time, and as per the quoted amount.

I recommend this service provider,

Yves Dion
Ottawa

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

IAQ: What are greenwalls anyways? Should SAQ start selling them?

INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND GREEN WALLS


For those of you who are not aware... A green wall refers to an actual wall of plants. Some think it looks stupid or silly, but I really like the look of it. Also, knowing this wall of plants will recycle the stale indoor air and provide everyone with an oxygen rich atmosphere is relieving. If you have ever been stuck in traffic on the way to work, or if you have ever had to walk through the city to get to your office, you would of surely been able  to see, smell, and maybe even taste the pollution in the city air. When you finally make it to work, you want to be able to take a deep breathe and feel good about the air you are breathing into your lungs. The same goes for when you come home from work. You should be breathing in clean, fresh air at home and not stale or stinky air. We want to be able to fulfill our day with optimal mental efficiency so that we, as professionals and caregivers, can be as productive as possible. The habits that humans generally engage in every day are habits of wastefulness and pollution. We constantly throw things out while we pollute the air inside as well as outside. Now, in order to improve the air quality inside buildings, we need to either dial down on the behaviors that cause the pollution of our indoor atmosphere, or implement some sort of method for purifying the air.

So what are the sources of daily indoor air contamination? Well lets start from the basement of the house and work our way upwards. First we have the still new concern - radon. Radon is an inert, undetectable, natural gas that enters through the basement foundation and builds up in houses/buildings. Over time it causes lung cancer in the lungs of the occupants. Unfortunately, plants cannot filter out radon as it is a radioactive gas and not a toxin. A specific system called "active soil depressurization" is required to remove radon from homes. To learn more about radon, contact Simon Air Quality. Now, there are pollutants present in basements that plants can filter out. For example, if your furnace is leaking CO or CO2, plants would be able to filter those emissions and supply oxygen at the same time. Also, if anyone smokes in the basement or if CO2 leaks into the basement from the garage, plants can be there to filter out the toxins.Now on the first floor there all kinds of possible contaminants in a common home: cigarette smoke, boilogical contaminants, dust, CO and CO2 from fireplace, humidity from stove, mold spores, VOCs from stove, VOCs from paints, solvents, cleaning supplies, hair products. The list goes on and on and on. We can see that indoor air pollution exists in different forms and comes from different sources all throughout the home. Here are the common, harmful chemical compunds found in our air:


The good news is that we have the means of ridding them from our indoor lives. As home owner, we can choose from a mechanical method or a more natural method. Mechanical systems like heat reclaiming ventilators improve air quality inside by replacing your stale air with fresh, outside air; in addition, it recovers/reclaims the heat from that inside air at the same time. Now if you don't want someone modifying your furnace and attaching a big box to air ducts next to your furnace, you can choose the more natural method. Instead of employing an expensive, energy consuming, mechanical device to only move air pollution from one place to another, maybe try a less expensive, more attractive, and more responsible method - by that of course I am referring to the almighty green wall. The top ten best plants at filtering indoor air can be found here: http://www.mygreenlife.com.au/categories/garden/actions/use-plants-to-remove-toxins/
Also, mygreenlife supplies an abundance of information that can help you live a better quality of life while respecting mother nature and being mindful of the environment you live in.
Here is a website where you can purchase green walls and interior plants of all strains, sizes, and styles: http://www.planterra.ca/


Quick Questions

Please respond to this post with your answers to the following questions. Also, leave a review on google!

1) Should Simon Air Quality start selling green walls?

2) Have you ever purchased a green wall before?

3) Would you prefer to have a green wall in your home or a heat reclaiming ventilator?

4) Are you worried about radon in your home?

5) Do you feel like you have poor indoor air quality in your home?



If you would like your house tested for radon, asbestos, mold, or VOCs, don't wait, call Simon Air Quality right away - 613-866-2092






Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Workplaces may face radon testing requirements

Workplaces may face radon testing requirements: A proposed bill would require owners of enclosed workplaces in Ontario to conduct radon testing and mitigate unsafe levels of the naturally occurring gas.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Brief Overview of Radon

Radon (Rn) has an atomic number 86. On the periodic table, you can find it in Group 18 and Period 6 just to the right of astatine. Radon is listed under the Noble gases category along with neon, helium, xenon, argon, and krypton.

It is a radioactive gas released from normal decay of radium, thorium, and uranium in rock and soil. Radon is an invisible, tasteless, odourless gas that escapes through the ground and diffuses into the air. Depending on local geology, it can dissolve into ground water and it can be released into air when the water is used. In areas where ventilation is inadequate, such as in underground mines, radon can accumulate to a harmful level which greatly increases the risk of lung cancer.

Radon is present in the air all around the world, but the level depends on local geological conditions. Everyone breathes radon every day, but mostly at very low levels. Those who inhale radon at high levels have higher risk of developing lung cancer. In Canada, the tolerable level of radon in indoor air is 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). In 2014, a data published by CBS News showed higher levels of Radon in the following locations in Canada:

·         Armstrong Station, Ont. (5,657 Bq/m3)
·         Bas-Paquetville, N.B. (5,590 Bq/m3)
·         Sparwood, B.C. (2941 Bq/m3)
·         GaspĂ©, Que. (2,923 Bq/m3)
·         Gooderham, Ont. (2,741 Bq/m3).

Because radon escapes through the ground, any crack in walls, floors, or foundation of homes can provide a tunnel for the gas to accumulate indoor. Building materials and even wells can contain water contaminated by radon. If a home is well insulated and tightly sealed, but it stands on soil rich in elements of radium, uranium, and thorium, radon levels can easily reach to a worrying level. Basement and first floors usually have the highest level because they are closest to the ground.

Radon decays quickly, leaving radioactive particles. When inhaled, those radioactive particles destroy cells that line the lung. The only type of cancer that can be associated with radon is lung cancer; the disease is a long term effect of the radioactive particles. There is no sufficient evidence to diagnose any short term effects.

Almost every home in Canada has radon, but the level varies. To test the level of radon, you can purchase a long term radon test kit or hire a certified professional to figure out the result within short term test. If the level reaches at least 200 Bq/m3, you will need radon mitigation professional to reduce it. One of the best method is called depressurization which basically channels radon from underground to outdoor air before the gas enters your home. It can reduce radon level by more than 90%. For best results, you should add more ventilations and seal possible radon entry points inside your home.


Simon Indoor Air Quality provides professional services to test radon levels in your home and continue to monitor and improve air quality by performing the best mitigation method and installing new ventilation. Visit us at www.simonairquality.com