The Canary: Innovation in Digital Radon Gas Monitoring by Corentium AS

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The Norwegian company Corentium AS has developed a novel digital radon gas monitor for homeowners, workplaces and the public sector. Compared to traditional technology, the battery powered monitor ‘Canary’ makes it much easier to locate the radon entry in the buildings.

The new digital and battery powered monitor ‘Canary’ is a paradigm shift in radon gas measurement procedures

There are epidemiological evidences that indoor radon exposure is responsible for a substantial number of lung cancers in the general population. The development of the monitor ‘Canary’ ( is largely a response to the 2009 UN World Health Organization report ‘WHO handbook on indoor radon. A public health perspective’ which provided detailed recommendations on reducing health risks from radon gas.

Many countries have over the last few years developed national radon programs, also demanding more appropriate technologies for radon measurement and monitoring. This has inspired the Norwegian company Corentium AS to develop accurate and affordable digital instruments for homes, workplaces, schools and kindergartens.

In most fields, technology has for long moved from the analogue to the digital age. Not so when it comes to radon gas monitoring technology. The traditional technology – track edge film – is still the most prevalent in the market. The film has to be placed for 2-3 months in the room to be measured, and has then to be sent to a specialized laboratory for development.

The new digital and battery powered monitor ‘Canary’ is a paradigm shift in radon gas measurement procedures. It enables people to monitor radon continuously themselves – making radon gas diagnostic much easier, and reducing dependency on third-party services and consultancies. After measuring for a few days, one gets indications about the radon level. Canary gives the possibility to read the average value for 1 day, for 7 days, and the accumulative average up to a year.

The Canary is also ideal for measuring the effect of simple mitigation measures – for example increased ventilation.

The radon monitor Canary is tested in renowned laboratories like NIRS in Japan, BfS in Germany and SURO in the Czeck Republic, and proved to be within the laboratories' own measurement uncertainty.

It is estimated that up to 14% of lung cancers is attributed to radon gas radiation. Radon is the second cause of lung cancer after smoking. Analyses indicate that the lung cancer risk increases proportionally with increasing radon exposure. As many people are exposed to low and moderate radon concentrations, the majority of lung cancers related to radon are caused by these exposure levels. This indicates that in countries where radon is found, most buildings should be monitored for radon as part of general preventive health care.

The name Canary emanates from older times, when canary birds were used in mines to warn the workers against dangers. If the level of dangerous gases was too high, the canary birds stopped to sing. The mine workers then had to get out of the mine. To learn more about Canary, visit

About Corentium AS:
Corentium AS was established in 2008, and is based in Oslo, Norway. Corentium is researching, developing and manufacturing technology for radiation monitoring. Behind Corentium stand researchers and developers from CERN in Geneva, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the Department of Physics at the University of Oslo.

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Halvor Wøien
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