Radon is colourless, odourless and invisible, and therefore hard for people to know if it is present. It is naturally generated, and formed when the natural uranium in our soil decays. The problem is that this decay generates radiation, which is why radon is a hidden killer. It’s not dangerous in small amounts, but it can build up, and as we’re sure you know, radiation can cause permanent and irreparable damage to your health. If you unwittingly inhale radon, the radioactive particles make their way to your lungs, where they continue to be radioactive, and damage your lung tissues and the cells surrounding them. These mutations can result in lung cancer.
Because radon is a gas, it can circulate around freely. This may mean that it can circulate in to your house. It can also permeate bricks and foundations, creeping into your house through walls. Once inside, it can build up within your home, and you may never know. Radon does not discriminate – whether your house is a new build or a hundred years old, and built of high tech modern materials or traditional brick, it can get in just as easily as the air you breathe.
Public Health England estimates that of all the radiation we’re exposed to every year, 50% of it comes from naturally occurring radon.
Is some parts of the UK, radon concentrations are much higher than others. When you purchase a house, one of the checks your solicitor can make is a radon search. This will tell you whether the house you’re about to spend money on is in an area where there’s a high risk of radon gas.
There are some ways you can reduce your radon exposure. A lot of these have now been proved ineffective, such as completely sealing your loft hatch or gaps in floorboards and walls. In fact, these have actually been proven to be more dangerous. Completely sealing your house encourages damp and rot, which are just as dangerous in their own right.
One of the best ways to remove radon from your house is through the use of positive ventilation, such as the solutions offered by Envirovent. Positive ventilation is a way of bringing clean, fresh air into your house, flushing out old, stale air and any pollutants, such as radon, and making your home a cleaner, safer place to be. It’ll also reduce condensation, as the water droplets will be circulated away from your colder surfaces where condensation loves to form.
A positive ventilation system from Envirovent is probably a lot cheaper than you think to install, and costs less to run than a low energy light bulb. Air is “inhaled” by the unit, which filters it so that it’s as pure as possible. It’s then pushed through a vent into your home, where it mingles with the existing stale and polluted air (including any radon gas which might be lurking in your home), pushing it out through open windows and any other ventilation you have available.