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  1. #1
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
    Daniel Leung Guest

    Default Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Many clients ask me about radon gas recently, probably that is the results of mass media reports on the toxicity of indoor radon gas.

    As recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control: (Radon Map of BC)
    Radon testing for homes in BC interior only, and not recommended for the Metro-Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley and Coastal area.

    All radon experts, is it true?

    And how danger if the house with granite countertop in all bathrooms and kitchen, and granite floor tiles on main floor only?

    Read more: National Radon Action Month

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Daniel Leung; 05-31-2011 at 04:58 PM. Reason: fix broken links
    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Matus Majersky's Avatar
    Matus Majersky Guest

    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Hi Daniel,

    Health Canada just released new study in 2012.

    Cross-Canada Survey of Radon Concentrations in Homes

    Highlights from this publication:

    • Health Canada estimates that radon is linked to 2500 lung cancer deaths per year in Canada.
    • There are no areas of the country that are ‘radon free’
    • The only way to know if a home has an elevated level of radon is to test, regardless of location.


    There is also new Radon Potential Map of Canada Maps - CARST where parts of Vancouver and North Shore are shown as area with HIGH radon hazard.

    Radon Control - B.C.'s Radon Experts


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Leung View Post
    And how danger if the house with granite countertop in all bathrooms and kitchen, and granite floor tiles on main floor only?[/URL]
    It's not significant.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    There is a story here, that I've never confirmed, that a relo company required a radon mitigation system on one of their homes. The high radon level persisted. After much consternation and investigation, they finally found that the large natural granite fireplace was the source of the radon. They had it replaced with a nice ordinary tile fireplace......yawn..........but eliminated the high radon readings.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    I would think that as you move more toward the mountains (North Vancouver, Noth Shore) you would see more radon.

    A basic rule of thumb is if you have rock you will most likely find elevated levels of radon and if you have a basement you will stand an even better chance of having radon issues. This is pretty much what I tell my clients.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    This is just hearsay, but I was told by a granite installer that the radon in granite counter tops story was started by the Corian industry.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  8. #8

    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Good morning, all!

    I am always amazed at how easy it is to fool people with (junk) science if you know that they don’t know what the words mean.

    Thus the comment “Health Canada estimates that radon is linked to 2500 lung cancer deaths per year in Canada.” works extremely well for propaganda purposes, provided you don’t tell the readers what the word “linked” actually means. I’m a certified forensic interviewer trained in the detection of deception, and in the field of deception this kind of statement is known as a “broad mental reservation” meaning the deceptive speaker knows damn well how the reader is going to receive the information, and also knows the reader will come away with the wrong impression, but the impression the speaker wants to give. The speaker can then honestly claim “I was telling the truth.” While at the same time knowing full well, they have successfully mislead the listener.

    In this case, the speaker want the reader to think that radon causes cancer – but, since there is no valid epidemiological evidence to demonstrate that radon, in concentrations found in houses, actually causes cancer, the speaker can’t actually come out and say that – since it would be a lie. So- in order to lead the sheep along, the speaker uses a different word that actually means something completely different, but knows the recipient of the information will believe it to be an equivalent statement.

    Here the word “linked” is substituted for the word “association” which is a valid epidemiological term, and the speaker knows the listener will erroneously think the word “linked” means “caused.”

    An association is the weakest of all epidemiological evidence. An “association” is needed before one can move on to “correlation.” “Correlation” speaks to the strength of the association. But even correlation by itself is extremely weak.

    In my earlier toxicology classes, I used to scientifically demonstrate that pickles were the number one related factor for death in the U.S. And EVERYTHING I would say in the lecture was objectively correct. In the end, the student learned that although 100% of all deaths in the US have been “linked” to pickles, pickles didn’t actually “cause” a significant number of deaths in the US.

    In a recent scientific “study” scientists demonstrated that eating chocolate makes you a serial killer. The “study” is based on another correlation which is that eating chocolate is correlated with being a Nobel Prize Laureate.

    In the article, (cited below), the article says:

    “There was a significant linear correlation (r=0.791, P<0.0001) between chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel laureates.”

    WOW! Now if THAT doesn’t prove that chocolate causes Nobel laureates, then what would? After all, 1) there must be association before correlation, 2) there must be correlation before causation, 3) r=0.791, P=<0.0001 is not only real fancy mathematics, (absolutely necessary to really bamboozle the gullible) but actually is a reasonably good correlation.

    Armed with this, it is easy it is to sell the myth: linked = association = correlation = causation. We see it constantly in popular media, (such as the radon nonsense); we see it in political discussions (gun control arguments) – and it is generally assumed to be true; regardless of how wrong the assumption actually is.

    Now what we do know is that radon in residences IS associated with lung cancer, and there IS a correlation between lung cancer risk and radon concentration.

    (I wonder how many of you who upon reading the above sentence, view it as a contradiction to what I had previously said?)

    In fact, associations are “absolute” (meaning there is no plus or minus sign attributed to the association). Associations (and related correlations) can be positive or negative. As it turns out, when we look at the actual valid epidemiological data, we see that there is an association between radon deaths and radon concentration in homes but it is a negative correlation. That is – as typical residential radon concentrations go UP; the risk of lung cancer goes DOWN. Therefore, is it objectively and scientifically true to say: “Residential radon is absolutely associated with deaths from lung cancer.”

    I gave a series of lectures in toxicology and epidemiological in Huntingdon, England in November last year. Here are a couple of slides from my toxicology lecture I gave. You’ll see that with the same scientific studies and math used to demonstrate that “radon is linked to deaths” I similarly proved that storks cause babies (r2=0.95) and sunspots cause Canadian lynx (or was it the other way around?) Notice the examples of a significant linear correlation (r=0.85) on Slide 20.

    http://forensic-applications.com/misc/slides2.pdf

    Notice in the “sunspots cause Canadian lynx” there is both positive correlation and negative correlation (WOW.. that must REALLY be scientific!!)

    So if you wondered why the radon studies always use words like “association” “linked” “correlated” etc, and I use words like “cause,” you’ll understand. There is not ONE, (NOT ONE) scientifically valid study, EVER, anywhere, that has demonstrated without fatal confounders that radon as found in residential houses, has EVER caused an increase in the risk of lung cancer.

    There’s “lies,” “damned lies,” and “statistics.”

    And granite countertops? Ohhh… please, it would just make me crawl into a corner and start to dribble …

    Cheers all!!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    Ref: OH-world.org: Does eating chocolate make you a serial killer?


    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG

    Last edited by Caoimhín P. Connell; 12-10-2012 at 09:21 AM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    Matus Majersky's Avatar
    Matus Majersky Guest

    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    WOW ....

    WOW .... Dear Caoimhín P. Connell, "junk" science comes from research backed by:

    Health Canada - 16% of lung cancers deaths in Canada are attributable to radon exposure.,

    United States Environmental Protection Agency - Exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.(US),

    World Health Organization - Exposure to radon in the home and workplace is one of the main risks of ionizing radiation causing tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year globally.

    Lung Cancer Association - Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. Radon exposure is estimated to be the cause of 10% of lung cancers.

    and many, many more!

    Radon Control - B.C.'s Radon Experts


  10. #10

    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Good morning, Mr. Majersky –

    You are the “sleepy sheep” of which I speak and most susceptible to the popular literature and are precisely the sort of person that keeps me in business. (By the way, I am currently a scientist, who has testified in US Federal Criminal and Federal Courts on the admissibility of “science” and was a radiation safety officer for 16 years who has lectured in radiation toxicology at university level and for such little known organizations as Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility, and performed nuclear safety audits for other obscure organizations such as Sandia National Labs …what’s your background?)

    It’s is very clear that you have not actually read any of the items you have referenced. Being capable of “Copy and paste” is not a substitute for knowledge. In fact, each of the cited links are ALL based on the EXACT same set of model assumptions that are NOT accepted even by the very organizations you cited; that is, they all used the same model, and they acknowledge that model is not valid. – you weren’t aware of that since you have never actually read any of the documents you cited – you just assumed that you know what they contain.

    So let’s look at what folks actually think about the risk model used. The US Governmental Laboratories such as the University of California, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory which concluded:

    Despite being widely accepted as a guideline in setting standards for protecting public health, the linearity hypothesis is not firmly established as an expression of scientific knowledge.


    Oooops… let’s look at that again: … the linearity hypothesis is not firmly established as an expression of scientific knowledge.

    Perhaps instead of wasting time on this board, you should write those idiots at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, University of California, and straighten them out with your superior “cut and paste” prowess.

    Or how about those bone-heads like Kenneth Mossman, Marvin Goldman, Frank Masse, William A. Mills, Keith J. Schiager, Richard L. Vetter over at The Health Physics Society at the University of Michigan who made the following observation:

    There is, however, substantial scientific evidence that this model is an oversimplification of the dose-response relationship and results in an overestimation of health risks in the low dose range.


    In fact, they know so little about the subject matter at hand, they think:

    Radiogenic health effects (primarily cancer) are observed in humans only at doses in excess of 10 rem delivered at high dose rates. Below this dose, estimation of adverse health effects is speculative. Risk estimates that are used to predict health effect in exposed individuals or populations are based on epidemiological studies of well-defined populations (e. g. the Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings in 1945 and medical patients) exposed to relatively high doses delivered at high dose rates. Epidemiological studies have not demonstrated adverse health effects in individuals exposed to small doses (less the 10 rem) delivered in a period of many years.


    Ooops! Speculative? Good science is now SPECULATIVE ?

    Well, let’s look at one of your references, in one of your citations the EPA describes what they think of their risk model:

    Currently there is very little information about...the health effects associated with exposures to radon at levels believed to be commonly encountered by the public. The only human data available for predicting the risks to the public are studies examining the health effects of exposure to radon and its progeny in underground miners. This information would be appropriate for predicting the risks to the public if everyone was a miner, everyone lived in mines, and a large fraction of the general population smoked cigarettes.


    OOoooopppss! What’s that again… This information would be appropriate for predicting the risks to the public if everyone was a miner, everyone lived in mines, and a large fraction of the general population smoked cigarettes.

    Do you live in a mine, Mr. Majersky? Do your clients live in mines? Any members of your family live in mines? In fact, Mr. Majersky, do you even know of ANYONE who lives in a mine?

    But is gets better – since you cited the reference, let’s see what the EPA actually found when they looked at risk data:

    Unlike what was found with the more limited BEIR IV and ICRP analyses, the BEIR VI committee was able to conclude that the ERR per WLM increased with decreasing exposure rate or with increasing exposure duration (holding cumulative exposure constant).


    Oooooppps! How’s that again? …. ERR per WLM increased with decreasing exposure rate or with increasing exposure duration (holding cumulative exposure constant)…

    So, did this risk modeling come from actual studies of radon in homes? Or…did the EPA actually say:

    The most important information concerning the health risks from radon comes from epidemiological studies of underground miners.


    But then the EPA went on to say…

    However, exposure conditions in homes differ from those in mines, with respect to both the physical properties of the inhaled radon decay products and the breathing patterns in the two environments.


    But they used the data anyway? HUH? WHAT?! But, but, but…. Was the miner data good science? Let’s check in with the EPA and ask them and see what they have to say about their own foundational data (upon which EVERY one of your cut-and-paste references is based):

    Exposure in the U.S. cohort is poorly known; cumulative WLM (CWLM) are calculated from measured radon levels for only 10.3 percent of the miners...and guesswork is used for about 53.6 percent of the miners.


    Ooooops! Howzat again? “guesswork”? Nah…. We must’ve misread that. Let’s look at it again:

    Exposure in the U.S. cohort is poorly known; cumulative WLM (CWLM) are calculated from measured radon levels for only 10.3 percent of the miners...and guesswork is used for about 53.6 percent of the miners.


    Guesswork? Since when is “guesswork” legitimate science, Mr. Majersky?

    To use your words, “WOW,” Mr. Majersky “speculative” “guesswork” that is not firmly established science is suddenly good science in your “cut and paste” world.

    In fact, if we look at such obscure and unknown organizations such as the Health Physics Society who says that for doses below 100 mSv (10 rem)
    …risks of health effects are either too small to be observed or are non-existent.


    (Mossman KL, Goldman M, Massé F, Mills WA, Schiager KJ, Vetter RJ. "Radiation risk in perspective, Health Physics Society position statement" Health Physics Newsletter 24: 3, 1996.)

    The NRC understood the limitations of the model used by each of the organizations you cited and made one of the most understated comments on science that will be encountered in our lives when they concluded:

    In summary, a number of sources of uncertainty may substantially affect the committee's risk projections; the magnitude of uncertainty associated with each of these sources cannot readily be quantified. Accordingly, the committee acknowledges that the total uncertainty in its risk projections is large.


    I don’t know what you do for a living Mr. Majersky – however, clearly it has nothing to do with anything scientific or involving analytical thought processes. Perhaps you should spend a little time actually reading the document you have cited – I think you will be astonished to find out what they contain, cuz it ain’t what you think it is!

    Other who are interested in such things may enjoy my short synopsis on radon here:
    Radon: Truth vs. myth

    Or my review of some recent radon studies here:
    Radon: Risk and Reality

    Bloody ‘ell it’s cold outside!

    Cheers!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG

    Last edited by Caoimhín P. Connell; 12-11-2012 at 06:21 AM. Reason: spellin and parentheses

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    This is just hearsay, but I was told by a granite installer that the radon in granite counter tops story was started by the Corian industry.
    I heard it was the Quartz counter top folks!

    FYI, granite can be radioactive. We were at a granite dealer not very long ago looking at stone for our kitchen and all of the slabs had certificates on them stating they had been tested for radioactivity, their country of origin and a EPA stamp saying they were OK.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Caoimhin.

    My guess is that your sarcasm will be lost on poor Mr. Majersky. He appears to be in the mitigation business. As you know, here in Colorado, the mitigation businesses tried to push through legislation last spring to make a radon test mandatory at time of sell of every residence in Colorado. Sadly, some home inspectors who view radon testing as a source of income (and some who no doubt believe in the risks), backed the measure too. Fortunately, the legislation failed, but the backers vowed to come back. For some, belief in radon is religion......and even better, a source of income.

    Some 25 years ago, I attended a realtor meeting about radon. Afterwards, I read some of the available studies on it. Some of the statistical analysis involved had me shaking my head, so I became an early skeptic. The Risk Assessment Methodology, Environmental Impact Statement, NESHAPS for Radionuclides, Background Information Document- Volume 1. EPA/520/1-89-005, September, 1989) states in the opening commentary, how the EPA got involved in concluding that low level radon exposure is a risk. Not surprisingly, it was law suits and court orders from judges who don't know squat about the subject who forced the EPA to create a position about radon. Judges! not science brings us these radon studies. The fact that the EPA only has positions and protocols about radon exposure rather than rules or backing laws regarding exposure, could be construed as proof that the EPA knows how shaky this "science" is.

    At another conference for realtors, the speaker was from one of the schools training certified radon testers/mitigators. I was that annoying guy in the audience who everyone wishes would sit down and shut up. But I forced the speaker to admit, that no one could determine the risk from low level radon exposure. Fortunately, no one had thought to bring any rotten tomatoes because the room was full of frowning people. Depressing, how many people seem to be invested in believing that all radon exposure is bad.

    The 2000 Iowa radon lung study seemed pretty good, at first. But then when I got to the part concluding that red meat was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, I started wondering W-T-H I was actually reading.

    A great friend of mine died last May from lung cancer. He had never smoked or been exposed to smoking. (I have a similar opinion of the second hand smoke studies, but that's another subject). At his request some ten years earlier, I had done a radon test on his house and it came in at 7. He had a mitigation system put in. So, of course, I had several people approach me declaring that I'll change my opinion about radon now......won't I. Well, obviously I didn't. A few questions later, and I learned that there is a strong history of lung cancer in his family. One might surmise that a predisposition for lung cancer runs in his family. (I had seen him eat red meat, but I am unable to quantify his exposure to that)

    I do radon testing because I have clients who want it. I tell them, if they ask, that it doesn't matter what I think about the risks, the EPA has made its decree, and I am not taking the EPA on. So, radon absolutely matters in regards to marketing and selling a home. A "bad" test can and does affect the sale of homes.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  13. #13
    Matus Majersky's Avatar
    Matus Majersky Guest

    Lightbulb Re: Any RADON GAS problems in Vancouver, BC

    Hi everyone,

    for those who take the radon issue seriously, Radon Control has developed Radon Test Kit for Canadians.

    Health Canada recommends long-term radon tests to be conducted over at least a three-month period. After this period every radon testing device must be shipped quickly back to its laboratory for analysis.

    BTW: Make sure that the price you pay for a radon test-kit includes the laboratory analysis. In many cases it doesn't!

    Our test kit includes laboratory analysis, free shipping and prepaid return envelope.

    For more info visit: Radon Test Kit for Canadians

    Last edited by Matus Majersky; 01-18-2013 at 08:55 PM. Reason: typo

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