When homeowners hear the word radon, many questions arise; what is radon? Where is it? Is radon harmful? What should I do? Asking these questions is very important as many property owners across the United Kingdom are completely unaware of the dangers that radon possesses.
Helping property owners with their radon concerns is something that at Timberwise we feel is very important, so here we will discuss the most frequently asked questions about radon and hopefully answer any concerns that you may have.
What Is Radon Gas?
Radon is a natural occurring noble gas formed as an indirect decay of uranium. We cannot see it, taste it or smell it, but it could be present in our homes.
Where Can Radon Gas Be Found In The UK?
Radon is everywhere but some parts of the country are more likely to have high levels in buildings than others. High concentrations are likely to be found in areas where the geology features concentrations of granite and limestone. We all breathe in radon through our day-to-day lives to some extent accounting for half of the radiation dosage each of us receives. Below is the UK radon map detailing areas where radon gas can be found.
By studying the Public Health England map it is possible to identify the affected areas within the UK that have potentially high concentrations of radon gas. There is a common misconception that radon gas only affects the South West of the country, the map however, highlights that the problem is much more widespread. The Government recommendations are that a property with a yearly average radon level of 200 Becquerel per cubic meter is at risk. The average concentration of radon in homes within the UK is 20 Becquerel per cubic meter.
Is Radon Gas Harmful?
Radon produces a radioactive dust in the air which we breathe. When radon is inhaled it lines the inside of our lungs, emitting a harmful radiation that can lead to lung cancer. Researchers conclude that radon in homes causes approximately 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the European Union each year, about 1,000 of which are in the United Kingdom. Here are some more facts:
- Radon increases your risk of lung cancer
- The higher the radon, the longer the exposure, the greater the risk
- Radon causes over 1,100 deaths from lung cancer each year in the UK
- Half of these deaths occur among the quarter of the population who are current smokers
What Should I Do if I am Worried About Radon?
Radon Test Kits
As radon gas is invisible and odourless the only way to find out if a property has significantly high levels of radon gas is through performing thorough diagnostics over a 3 month period – this then allows for fluctuations according to seasonal temperatures. Passive radon detectors are placed within the main living and sleeping areas of the property for testing. These detectors are then sent for laboratory analysis to obtain a yearly average Becquerel level. Remedial action is then dependant on the accurate results obtained.
PropertECO are a specialist division of Timberwise who are specialists in the testing and mitigation of radon gas. All orders for passive radon gas testing kits will be fulfilled by our propertECO team. Radon Testing kits are available via the PropertECO radon shop.
Radon Test Kits
As radon gas is invisible and odourless the only way to find out if a property has significantly high levels of radon gas is through performing thorough diagnostics over a 3 month period – this then allows for fluctuations according to seasonal temperatures. Passive radon detectors are placed within the main living and sleeping areas of the property for testing. These detectors are then sent for laboratory analysis to obtain a yearly average Becquerel level. Remedial action is then dependant on the accurate results obtained. Radon Testing kits are available via our radon shop.
Reducing Radon Levels
Once high concentrations of radon have been identified, the next step is to implement mechanical measures to help lower the radon levels within the property. This can be accomplished through the installation of a Radon Assisted Sump System, specifically designed to decrease levels of radon. This is generally the most effective method, and in many cases can reduce the radon level to less than one-tenth of the original level. Alternatively, Timberwise can provide homeowners with an EnergySaver Positive Pressure System.
The system is simple to install and effective in bringing fresh, dry filtered air continuously into the property diluting and displacing radon contaminated air.