Radon: What is it? What is my responsibility? How can PHE help?

PHE has decades of experience and expertise in delivering radon programmes. Our measurement service is underpinned by our scientific research. We advise about the risk of harm from radon. We advise you how to check your property portfolio and what to do when action needs to be taken.

What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas. You can’t see, smell or taste it. It is formed by the radioactive decay of the small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. Radon accounts for half of the average UK radiation dose.

What is the risk to health from radon?
Radon produces radioactive particles in the air we breathe. These particles become trapped in our airways and emit radiation that damages the inside of our lungs. This damage increases the risk of lung cancer.
 
What is the Landlord’s responsibility?

Under the 2004 Housing Act landlords have a duty of care to provide a safe home. Radon is identified as a potential hazard in dwellings.

What is the employer’s responsibility?
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a responsibility to ensure the Health and Safety of employees and others who have access to the work environment.

How can PHE help?
We recommend a three-stage process:

  • Check
  • Measure
  • Act  
     

1. Check: are any of your buildings in a radon Affected Area?
Affected Areas are parts of the UK where the potential for high radon levels is greatest. The radon atlas gives the worst-case radon potential within a 1km grid square and can be viewed for free on our website www.ukradon.org.

We also offer a search service for large property portfolios. A postcode list assessment is more specific, giving the radon potential for properties sharing a given postcode.

2. Measure: All occupied properties in an Affected Area should be tested.

PHE is a validated laboratory and can carry out your radon testing programme.

3. Act: The radon levels should be reduced if the result is at or above 200 Bq m-3 for homes (Action Level) or over 300 Bq m-3 for workplaces (Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017).

Various remediation options are available depending on the result and construction of the property.

For general radon information please visit our website. For specific information about any of the services above, please contact us by email.

Event Diary

It is no mystery that there is a huge task at hand to solve the growing problems of waste, inefficient resources, and the disposal of hazardous materials as our communities develop.

You are invited to this unique annual exhibition that brings together all the disciplines from the emergency services sector who are involved in prevention, response and recovery. 


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