New advice relating to Radon Gas from the HPA

14 July 2010

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) have released new advice regarding the levels of radon gas in homes and public buildings.

HPA LogoIn an effort to reduce radon gas levels the HPA has introduced a new Target Level. Until recently, the HPA recommended that only if the level of radon in a property was over 200becquerels per cubic meter (BQ/m3) did action need to be taken to reduce radon levels. Following a review of the latest advice on the risks from radon gas from the Internal Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) the HPA have now also launched a Target Level of 100 Bq/m3.

Why introduce a radon gas Target Level?

As there is now a much better understanding of the risks to health on people exposed to radon gas levels of 200 Bq/m3 and below the Target Level was introduced to increase the awareness of the dangers of radon gas and to encourage people to take remedial action to reduce the levels of radon in their properties. It is recommended that Action Levels and Target Levels  apply also to public buildings (where the public spends more than 2000 hours / annum) and all schools.

Radon Affected Areas

The new HPA report also focuses on the common misconception that radon gas is only in certain parts of the country. The HPA now classifies areas as Lower, Intermediate or Higher risk radon areas. The definition of Higher risk areas been that there is at least a 10% chance of exceeding the radon Action Level. Homeowners in areas classed as Intermediate or Higher are actively encouraged to have radon gas testing carried out to determine the true radon risk they are exposed to.

Radon gas and basements

Home owners with basements are now advised that their basements stand a high risk of containing higher than average radon gas levels regardless of where they are in the UK. A radon test should be carried out in the basement area to confirm the concentration of radon gas and where needed remedial action taken to lower the radon gas level. Remedial action can take different forms depending on the levels of radon found. Timberwise offer a range of remedial solutions to lower radon levels from radon sumps to positive pressure ventilation systems.

Radon Test Kits

Radon testing kits are available from Timberwise. We supply 90 day radon test kits that proven to give a more accurate reading than other radon test kits that can be done over a shorter time frame. Kits are available to buy on-line using our shop facility and cost £45 inc VAT and free delivery.

Summary of new HPA Radon Guidance

The putting in place of a new Target Level of 100 Bq/m3. All existing and new homes should be beneath this level

The new Target Level is also relevant to all schools and public buildings

The introduction of risk areas – Lower Risk, Intermediate Risk and Higher Risk

ALL basements are at risk of increased radon levels regardless of location in the UK

It is advisable to test for radon gas rather than rely solely on probability estimates

The full report from the HPA – HPA Advice on the Limitation of Human Exposure to Radon is available from the HPA