Radon

Radon is a natural radioactive gas which decays into other radioactive elements, all of which can increase your exposure to radiation. Radon is emitted from the very small amounts of uranium present in all earth materials such as rocks, soils, brick and concrete. Radon gas is generally found in higher concentrations in areas of the country with higher amounts of high Uranium containing rocks such as granite.

As for any radioactive material high levels of radon gas can cause an increased risk of cancers. As it is a gas that you can breathe in, the main risk is that of lung cancer. Radon in the home can present a very small increased risk of lung cancer especially if it is allowed to build up in unventilated voids such as basements and suspended ground floors.

Public Health England (and its predecessors) publishes a map of the statistical probability of any house failing to meet a nationally set action level. Any area with a greater than 1 percent probability of failure is termed a Radon Affected Area. A new version of this map can be downloaded from their web site. This now shows a significant part of Winchester's District to be a Radon Affected Area.

This new report does not present any new monitoring data. In the previous report, of the 220 properties measured in Winchester's district none failed the recommended action level of 200Bq/m3.

The Public Health England Radon web page provides an excellent on line resource for all matters relating to Radon including how to have a property tested for Radon levels. CLICK HERE to go to this page.

If you are proposing to construct a new property there are specific requirements regarding the assessment of Radon levels. For more information please contact our Building Control team on 01962 840 222 or email building@winchester.gov.uk