Radon risks: what the householder needs to know
Most people are not aware of radon until it is brought to their attention by their conveyancer during environmental searches that radon may be present in their locality.
Radon is a tasteless, odourless, invisible gas that occurs naturally throughout the earth’s crust. It is a by-product of the breakdown of uranium in the soil, rock and water. Over time, uranium will decay into lead.
The main danger from high radon exposure is the increased risk of lung cancer. For most people, radon is the single largest source of radiation exposure, whether they are at home or at work. It is in fact the biggest contributor to everyone’s general radiation exposure and according to Public Health England it is responsible for 1,100 deaths from lung cancer a year.
Radon is everywhere, formed from the uranium in all rocks and soils. Outdoors everywhere and indoors in many areas the radon levels are low and the risk to health is small. The darker the colour on the radon maps, the greater the chance of a high radon level in a building. However, not all buildings, even in the darkest areas, have high levels.
According to the UK radon maps, East Anglia has low to medium elevated radon potential, with pockets between Ely and Huntingdon, around King’s Lynn and Hunstanton and some areas between Saffron Walden and Felixstowe.
An Anglian Home Surveyors building survey will highlight any issues with the building that can increase risk and go on to suggest solutions. If you are buying or selling in a radon-affected area, you may wish to consider a number of points and then take action.
If you have any questions or require some free related advice then please do not hesitate to contact us.
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