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Radon

Radon is a natural radioactive gas, originating from uranium which occurs in many types of rock.

What is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which has no colour, smell or taste.

Where does radon come from?

Radon comes from the minute amounts of uranium present in all earth materials such as rocks, soils, brick and concrete.

What are the effects of radon?

Particularly high levels of Radon may be associated with an increased lifetime risk of lung cancer.

Does radon cause Leukaemia?

The main risk associated with high radon exposure is the increased risk of lung cancer.  If there is any risk of leukaemia, it is thought, by comparison, to be extremely small.

Where can I obtain more advice on health risks associated with radon?

Public Health England can provide advice and guidance on the health risks associated with radon - www.ukradon.org/information

What is the Action Level for radon?

Radon is measured becquerels and the HPA recommends that radon levels should be reduced in homes where the average is more than 200 becquerels per cubic metre.  This recommendation has been endorsed by the Government.

What is the risk at the Action Level?

People living all their lives at the action level may run a slightly increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Is radon a problem everywhere in the UK?

Radon is present in all parts of the UK, but in the most populous areas the levels are quite low.  Some of the highest levels have been found in the South West, but levels well above average have been found in some other parts of England and parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  However, even in these areas most homes have low levels.

How can I test for radon?

The HPA has devised a simple, safe and confidential test designed to measure the levels of radon in your home.

Should you wish to test for radon in your home, you can purchase a test kit from the HPA, who are an officially approved laboratory - www.ukradon.org/information or telephone 01235 822622.

Advice on the measurement of radon can also be obtained via the DEFRA website www.defra.gov.uk