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Are You at Risk of Radon Gas Exposure?

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Are You at Risk of Radon Gas Exposure?

By EnviroVent Jan 08, 2021

Radon Gas is an odourless, colourless radioactive gas which is emitted from the ground due to the decay of radioactive elements in rocks.  It is present in some quantity everywhere, but in some parts of the country such as the South West of England and the East Midlands where the local geology contains a higher proportion of granite and other igneous rocks, levels are high and could affect health.

According to experts, around 500,000 homes across the UK are in areas where there is a high risk of exposure to Radon gas.

What is the Risk Posed by Radon Gas?

Health studies conducted by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), have linked exposure to Radon to increased risk from lung cancer. World Health Organization (WHO) research reveals that Radon exposure leads to between 3 and 14 per cent of all lung cancer cases.

Ionising radiation from Radon decay creates radioactive particles known as Radon’s Daughters which can be inhaled and become trapped in the lungs.  These particles of dust emit damaging Alpha particles which are highly ionising and can cause damage to cells causing them to mutate and increasing the risk of cancer developing.

According to the NRPB, in any home with radon levels of 200 becquerels per cubic metre, steps should be taken to reduce the concentration of the chemical and bring it to safe levels.

How is Radon Detected and Measured?

Radon detectors are available from DIY stores and online.  They are placed in a property for a period of 3 months to measure concentration of Radon in the air and then need to be processed in a laboratory.  This process takes around 4 months from start to finish.

The reason for measuring radon concentration over a long period of time is to provide accurate results and an average level.  Actual levels can vary during the day, and while some Radon will always be present, it can become concentrated in a house over time if there is insufficient airflow to remove it from the property.

Quicker results are possible by using a digital measuring device.  Contact EnviroVent to find out how our local specialists can help you to reduce your risk of Radon Gas exposure.

Reducing the Risk of Radon

There are several ways to reduce the health risks of Radon.

The main goal of any mitigation measures is to reduce the concentration of Radon in the air to safe levels.  This can be achieved through improving ventilation in a property.  Good airflow in and out of a house means that air is constantly being refreshed and that the radon stays at safe levels.

Positive Input Ventilation Systems (PIV) work by drawing air in from outside and filtering it before feeding it through the house via outlets in different rooms.  This process also helps to reduce condensation and damp.  PIV systems can be professionally installed in almost any type of property.

Alternatively, a system called a Radon Sump can be installed.  This involves a pipe being installed in an exterior wall of the property that takes air from the highest point in the house and feeds it down below ground level.  Radon Sumps can be expensive to retrofit into an existing property as they require changes to the fabric of the building.

To find out more about how improving ventilation in your property can reduce the risk of Radon gas to your health, please contact us to arrange a survey with your local EnviroVent specialist.

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