Over the years there have been maps created to show where the higher and lower incidences of elevated indoor Radon have been found. While this is a tool the public can use, it is a very poor way to calculate their individual risk. Because indoor levels can vary from house to house on the same street, people can be led to believe their area has low levels and be given a false sense of security. We have found levels five times above the action level of 200 Bq/m³ in homes on PEI even though mapping shows a low occurrence
As a Safety professional we deal with Hazard and Risk daily. We face many hazards in our lifetimes and also many risks. Simply driving anywhere is a hazard and the risk is that we could be involved in an accident. We mitigate these risks by purchasing insurance, wearing seat belts, driving to suit road conditions etc. With Radon the exposure to high levels is the hazard, and the risk is lung cancer. The only way to know if you face the hazard is to test for Radon. There is no room for complacency based on mapping. High levels can exist anywhere and the only way to know your levels is to test your home and workplace. Telling the public they live in a low occurrence area is a mistake. Perhaps their odds are better than someone in another area, but when dealing with something as serious as lung cancer, that’s a gamble that people shouldn’t be encouraged to take.