Thousands of Albertans sign up to have home radon levels tested

More than 10,000 Alberta homeowners have volunteered for a University of Calgary study to test for radon levels in their homes

Participants paid around $60 for a 90 day radon test

This is a radon test. Radon radiation moves at half the speed of light and puts dents in the piece of hard plastic. (Louise Moquin)

Thousands of Alberta homeowners have signed up for a University of Calgary study to test their houses for radon. 

"Evict Radon" launched in November, and more than 10,000 people have signed up so far. 

"I was surprised and delighted," said Aaron Goodarzi, assistant professor at the University of Calgary.

"Our website actually crashed for a few minutes because it was [an] overwhelming response, I mean we were literally getting hundreds of sign-ups a minute," he said.

Goodarzi would like to find out if certain parts of the province have higher radon levels than others, and if certain areas of homes are more susceptible.

High levels in 1 in 8 homes

This follows a study that was released last year that found radon levels are dangerously high in one of eight homes in the Calgary area.

"We've got about half the new tests from last year coming in. The staff in the lab are analyzing those diligently. The numbers that we've surveyed so far, it remains at one in eight, perhaps even one in seven and a half," Goodarzi said.

Each participant paid around $60 for a 90 day radon test. The data will be analyzed this summer, and results are expected this fall.

"It's proved really insightful in terms of how we as Albertans are being exposed to this number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers," Goodarzi said.