Radon Gas

The Council are not the specialists on Radon Gas. The Health Protection Agency, who have now incorporated the former National Radon Protection Board, are the current specialist public body for this issue.

They can be contacted as per the links and phone numbers given in the following information. We have included some advice from their previous incarnation (as the National Radon Protection Board) on Radon Gas and how it can affect the householder.

What are the risks from radon?

The natural radioactive radon enters houses from the ground underneath, where it is formed from the uranium, which is found in all rocks and soils. Radon levels indoors depend on the concentration of radon in the ground, details of construction of the house, and the way the house is heated and ventilated. Levels can vary widely between apparently identical houses: the only way to find out whether there is a high level in a particular house is to measure it.

Indoor radon has been found to be the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking. Although levels in most homes are low, the concentrations exceed the action level of 200 Bq m3 in a significant number of homes. At this level it is recommended that remedial action should be taken to reduce radon levels.

Living for a lifetime in a house where radon is at the action level is estimated to carry a 3-5 per cent risk of fatal lung cancer, the majority of which are in smokers, but with a significant risk to non-smokers. It is possible to reduce this risk substantially by reducing indoor radon levels.

Is my house in a radon affected area?

Radon affected areas are those with 1 per cent or more of houses above the UK action level for radon (200 Bq m3). There is a map of radon-affected areas on the Health Protection Agency Website.

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/hpawebfile/hpaweb_c/1204186227787

Has the house I want to buy been tested for radon?

In some parts of the country with severe radon problems, more than 30 per cent of houses have already been tested.

House purchases will often wish to know whether a measurement has been carried out in a house that they wish to buy.

The Health Protection Agency have produced a series of frequently asked questions about Radon on their website, for more information visit:

http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/Radiation/UnderstandingRadiation/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/RadonFAQs/