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What is radon ? All you need to know about radon.

What is radon ?

Radon is a natural radioactive gas that is colorless and odorless. It comes naturally from the soil because it is formed from the radium present in the rocks of the subsoil. Radium and radon are both included in the radioactive decay chain of uranium.

Not enough people are aware of the health risks that prolonged exposure to radon can lead to. Radon in indoor air is a major public health issue in many countries, including the UK.

Radon in the UK is usually known as an “only-Cornwall” issue and is not high on the agenda of the UK media.
Even if regulation exists to measure for radon in workplaces, measuring radon in homes is still not mandatory, but remember most people spend the majority of their time at home.

Generalities about radon

Why is radon dangerous?

Radon is dangerous for three main reasons:

  • It is a gas, so it enters the lungs and damage cells in the human body mainly due to its daughters.
  • It is radioactive, so it emits ionizing radiation when it decays, which damages body cells.
  • It is concentrated in indoor air, where we spend most of our time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that it is proven that radon can cause cancer.
The UK’s National Cancer Institute states that radon is responsible for 10% of lung cancer cases diagnosed each year.

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Where do we find radon ?

Radon is everywhere.

Even though there are maps showing areas that are classified as “at risk”, radon poses a threat everywhere because it can concentrate in indoor air regardless of the nature of the soil. Radon concentrations in indoor air depend not only on the nature of the soil, but also on the characteristics of the buildings and many other parameters.

So the best way to protect yourself against the risks associated with this gas is to measure for it.

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How to measure radon ?

The easiest way is to order a radon test kit is from our online store . Our laboratory is ISO 17025 accredited and validated by PHE. This guarantees quality.

Once received, simply place the detector in accordance with the instructions supplied with the kit. Once the measurement is complete, simply return the detectors by mail for laboratory analysis. The results are released within two weeks.

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How to measure radon

When do we need to measure for radon ?

If a measurement has never been conducted it is important to do so, and do this regularly:

  • Every 10 years, because cracks can appear as the building ages.
  • After a renovation, because the characteristics of the buildings evolve.
  • If remediation work has been conducted (VMC application, crack plugging, etc), verify that it has worked.
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When do we need to measure for radon ?

What are the reference levels ?

In the UK, the reference level is :

  • 300 Bq/m³ for workplaces and
  • 200 Bq/m³ for houses.

The legislation (UK Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017), requires employers to act if radon levels exceed the workplace threshold. Your radon measurement report will indicate whether you are above the 300 Bq/m³ threshold and need advice from our experienced Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) as to what remedial steps need to be taken to reduce the radon level.

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What are the reference levels ?
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What is radon ?

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What is radon ?

All you need to know about radon

News about Radon and Radonova

What is radon? Radon in homes and workplaces

The measurement of radon in indoor air may vary depending on when and where you are measuring.
For example, the number of radon detectors used varies with the number of floors and rooms in the home or workplace.
The measurement protoocols used are also different for homes and workplaces.

Radon measurement in workplaces

The legislation (UK Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017, IRR7) requires employers to act if radon levels exceed the workplace threshold.
Do you run a business and wonder whether you should measure for radon?
How many detectors are needed?
How long should I measure for radon?

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Radon measurement in homes

When should I carry out a measurement?
How many detectors are needed to ensure a reliable and accurate radon measurement?
What is the best time to take a measurement?

Find answers to these questions in our dedicated section by clicking on the link opposite

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Read more about radon in the rest of the world

International WHO  IAEA
Europe ERA
Canada CARST
Sweden SSM
Austria BMLFUW
Switzerland BAG
Germany Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz
Ireland EPA
Great Britain PHE
Denmark Sundhedsstyrelsen
Finland STUK
France ASN
Spain CSN
Belgium FANC