Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released from some types of geology such as granites, limestones and some shales. Although the gas is radioactive, it is not considered to be a health issue until the gas becomes trapped in a confined space and concentrations of the gas build up to levels that are considered to be of concern.
Previously the likelihood of the presence of radon gas in an area has been modelled on either actual radon measurements within a property or the types of geology present. The British Geological Survey in conjunction with Public Health England has combined these two modelling methods and as a result radon affected areas within the Borough of Cheshire East have been identified.
The identification of new radon affected areas has two implications for the residents the live in affected properties:
- Health studies around the world have linked radon with lung cancer. Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer. People who are exposed to high levels of radon are more likely to get lung cancer, and the risk to smokers will be much higher than the risk to non-smoker.
- A local authority search, which is undertaken when a property is sold, identifies if a property is located in a radon affected area. As radon levels vary from property to property, getting your house tested for the presence of radon gas before putting a property on the market can avoid delaying the sale whilst the test is undertaken, or potential lengthy negotiations on the purchase price.
The test for radon is very easy to undertake and consists of two discs, which should be placed in a living room and an occupied bedroom. The detectors are a piece of spectacle lens plastic in a protective shell and around the size of a small doorknob, the lens measures the amount of radon present over a period of three months and is analysed by experts at accredited laboratories.
To find out if your property stands in a radon affected area follow this link to the UK Radon website.
Tests and further information with regard to radon are available directly from the Public Health England (PHE) website.