Radon Information

Radon Information

Radon is a naturally occurring, odourless, tasteless radioactive gas which seeps into the atmosphere from minute amounts of uranium that are present in some rocks, soils, bricks and concrete. Outdoors, radon is diluted and poses a negligible risk. However, when it collects in enclosed spaces, concentrations can build up. The main danger from high exposure is the increased risk of lung cancer.

Radon Locations

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 region of the UK, 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.  However, surveys have shown that some parts of Broxtowe Borough are at risk from levels of radon that require action.

Public Health England recommends that radon levels should be reduced in homes where the average is more than 200Bq (Becquerels) per cubic metre. This recommendation has been endorsed by the government and is known as the 'action level'

The action level refers to the annual average concentration in a home. Radon measurements are carried out with two detectors (one in a bedroom and one in a living room) over a three month period, to average out short-term fluctuations. To enable radon initiatives to be targeted effectively, the most radon-prone areas are designated as Affected Areas, defined as those with a greater than 1% chance of a house having a radon above the Action Level.

Reduce Radon Levels

It is best to stop radon entering a house or, if that is not practical, to try to remove it if it gets in.  There are several tried and tested methods to reduce radon levels in existing homes to significantly below the action level.  There are five main ways to reduce radon levels:

  1. Install a radon sump system

  2. Improve ventilation under suspended timber floors

  3. Use positive ventilation in your house

  4. Seal cracks and gaps in solid concrete floors

  5. Change the way your house is ventilated

The choice of method depends on the radon level and the way your home is built.

Further Information

The Indicative Atlas of Radon in England and Wales PDF summarises the areas with higher risks of finding high radon levels.  A specific report for an individual property can be obtained for a small fee through the UKradon website. See related articles.

Private Sector Housing
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