Residential Construction Requirements for Radon Gas Mitigation
Radon is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that is formed naturally by the radioactive breakdown of uranium contained in soil and rock. Normally radon escapes from the ground into the air where it mixes with fresh air resulting in concentrations too low to be a health concern. However, when radon enters an enclosed space through cracks or openings in floors in contact with the ground, or through foundations, it can accumulate to higher concentrations.
According to Health Canada, long-term exposure to radon is linked to approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada and is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Canada’s radon guideline is currently 200 Bq/m³ (becquerels per cubic metre). The only way to determine if radon levels are within the guideline of 200 Bq/m³ is to carry out a test.
Residential Construction Requirements
All building permit applications for new construction, and additions to, low-rise residential buildings in the City of Hamilton are required to incorporate radon gas mitigation construction requirements in compliance with the Ontario Building Code. These requirements apply to the construction of new dwellings (including new laneway houses), and residential additions.