Introduction to Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring colourless, odourless radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium that occurs naturally in soil, rock, and water. As it has no taste, odour or colour Radon cannot be detected by sight, smell, or taste and is therefore able to accumulate in properties without the occupiers knowing

The main risk from high radon direct exposure for extended periods of time, is the increased threat of lung cancer. Official statistics estimate that over 1100 people die in the UK every year from lung cancer as a result of radon direct exposure. For the majority of people, radon is the single biggest source of radiation exposure whether they are at work or at home.

Radon Threat Evaluations

The existing radon threat evaluations are based on 1km square grids on a UK large atlas. However 1km square is a really coarse grid and research has shown that pockets of elevated radon potential can be discovered. This risk evaluation is a sign, rather than definitive, highlighting the highest radon possible found within the 1km square.

Wales and the South-West of England are at threat of being exposed to high-levels of radon, according to a radiation map launched by Public Health England. Other parts of the nation most likely to be exposed consist of Cumbria, Newcastle, and Northumberland, while, locations in Scotland and Northern Ireland are likewise under hazard. Among the most typical locations of the home for radon to leak into is the basement.

Residence in the South-West are especially vulnerable as high levels of radon are in the area due to the large amounts of granite that can be discovered there. However, it’s essential to bear in mind that no matter where in the UK you live, radon gas is present. and other locations of the UK highlighted by Public Health England are exposed to higher levels of radon due to the kind of soil and rocks in the ground which properties have actually been constructed on.

Cancer Research study reports that 4% of the lung cancer cases detected each year are connected to the inhalation of radon gas. Radon adds to lung cancer as the particles of radon are radioactive and it’s this that can trigger damage to the lining of the lungs. With this in mind, you’ll want to guarantee that your home is safe and free from as much radon as possible.

Radon Protection Throughout The UK

Under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, employers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure the health & safety of employees and others who have access to their workplace. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Laws 1999 need the evaluation of health and safety threats and this need to consist of radon in the following scenarios:

For the large majority of above ground offices the risk evaluation ought to consist of radon measurements in appropriate ground floor rooms where the building is located in a radon Affected Area.

Measurements are not typically required in above ground work environments situated in the white areas of the indicative atlas).

This uses to all listed below ground work environments in the UK (basements, cellars, mines, caverns, tunnels, etc), irrespective of the above ground Affected Locations status. Risk evaluation for radon must be performed in relation to: all below ground workplaces in the UK; and all workplaces located in radon Affected Areas.

The Building Regulations 2004 (England, includes 2010 and 2013 amendments), the Building Regulations 2010 (Wales, includes 2017 changes), the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, supported by BRE report BR211 explain where brand-new buildings and extensions (work environments and homes) may require to incorporate protective procedures set up throughout building.

Given that even new buildings with protective measures might have high radon levels, companies need to still check. Experience has shown that radon concentrations in adjacent structures can vary considerably (for reasons including regional geology, developing style and use), so measurement results from neighbouring residential or commercial properties can not be utilised in the threat evaluation, radon testing must be carried out.

For inhabited areas with levels above 300 Bq/m3, the company might need to instantly take steps to manage occupational direct exposures pending any choice they might require to reduce the radon levels by engineered means. A Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) with radon experience should normally be consulted about how best to handle radon direct exposures however, if the company plans to present engineering controls to immediately reduce the radon exposures, they will likewise require to seek advice from a specialist radon elimination (removal) professional.

It is usually proper to continue monitoring in these areas at least till the reduction steps have actually been put in location, or to improve where the greatest radon levels are found by keeping an eye on additional rooms. The seasonal changes applied by testing labs to measurements are normally great signs of the yearly average levels in buildings.

Radon Protection In Northern Ireland

Radon protection methods were first introduced into Part C of the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) in June 1994. Although deemed-to-satisfy provisions are provided, no guidance on construction methods are incorporated within the appropriate Technical Booklet (“Technical Booklet C, Site preparation and resistance to moisture”, June 1994). The Department of the Environment in conjunction with the British Research Establishment in March 1997 produced a draft Technical Booklet to cover these regulations. This draft is currently out for consultation and is due to become part of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) at the beginning of 1998.

During the interim period, between June 1994 and March 1997, a number of Building Control (NI) advice notes and seminars were provided to fulfil the void left by the then new regulations. The draft Technical Booklet and the Building Control advice notes are based on the radon protection construction work undertaken in the South of England, where the highest indoor radon levels have been recorded within the United Kingdom.

The use of radon protection methods to dwellings in Northern Ireland is restricted to the Southeast corner where the National Radiation Protection Board has declared a radon `Affected Area’. Radon protection methods are used in a small fraction of new dwellings in Northern Ireland due to the location of the `Affected Area’. This location largely rural and is therefore remote from the large population areas of the providence.