Radon is an odourless, tasteless and colourless gas and is found throughout the whole of the United Kingdom.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed when uranium (found in small quantities in rocks and soil) decays into radium; this then decays further and forms radon.
Radon can seep into homes through floors and walls and high levels of radiation have been associated with an increased incidence of lung cancer, particularly when its exposure is long term and combined with cigarette smoking.
Radon is measured in Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m-3) and Public Health England recommends that where radon levels exceed the Action Level (set at 200 Bq/m-3), measures must be put in place to reduce radon exposure. As a consequence of this, new properties built in areas affected by radon are fitted with mitigating measures (such as gas protection membranes and increased ventilation).
The British Geological Survey has set up a website that allows you to check whether a particular address is within a radon-affected area. However, the only thorough way to check the radon levels in a house is to have a test carried out.
Further information can be obtained from the Public Health England website – from this site you can purchase a radon measuring kit. For a fee, this provides a sampling kit, all postage and packing, analysis and a report back to you detailing the radon levels in your home.
Alternatively, you can call the Radon Information Line (free phone) on 0800 614 529.
If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the Environmental Protection Team, details below:
Chesterfield Borough Council
Tel: 01246 345 345 (main switchboard)
Fax: 01246 345 760
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