There's a problem with more energy efficient houses: the leak a lot less, so moisture and chemicals can build up in them if they are not properly ventilated. Only a small proportion of homes have heat recovery ventilators, (HRVs), so there is no controlled ventilation of any kind for months on end in colder climates.
Radon mostly is released from deep in the ground, and enters the house through cracks in the basement, and around pipes. Though some will loudly dispute it and call me names, radon can also be emitted from granite countertops.Two years ago Brian wrote that 20,000 Americans die each year from radon gas. Now a new Canadian study concludes that 16% of all lung cancer deaths can be attributed to it.
The new findings make it even more urgent that all homes and schools be tested for radon", adds [Radiation Safety] Institute radiation scientist, Lynn MacDonald. "The solution is not difficult. Radon testing is simple and, if there is a problem, remediation is often easy. By taking these steps, Canadians can protect their families from unnecessary radiation exposure and potential future lung cancers.
Testing is relatively easy and cheap,about forty bucks, and should be done in fall or winter when windows are kept shut. It is another reason why every new or renovated house should have an HRV or in the south, an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).
Between the chemicals from cleaners, formaldehyde, moisture and radon, it's really crazy not to have a proper ventilation system.