Radon Gas
How To Test Your Property For Radon

Where Does Radon Gas Come From?

Radon gas is everywhere, It is a colourless & odourless radioactive gas that is the result of the radioactive decay of uranium, which occurs naturally in rocks & soil.

Radiation is released by decaying radioactive elements. Radiation of this kind poses health risks to anyone that is exposed to it. Radon decay creates radioactive elements, which can be inhaled by us. Once inhaled the elements continue to decay and emit radiation inside the lungs, primarily alpha particles. Localised lung damage is caused when these pollutants are absorbed by the lung tissues. Radon exposure has been linked as one of the main causes of lung cancer in many studies conducted around the world.

The amount of radon in the air is measured in becquerels per cubic metre of air (Bq/m3). 

Radon is generally not a health concern outdoors since it dissipates to very low concentrations very rapidly. Radon levels outside range from 5 Bq/m3 to 15 Bq/m3.

radon map scotlandRadon exposure occurs most often in schools, workplaces, homes, and other places that have low ventilation. This is due to the radon gas entering a building through cracks and other holes that are present in the foundation, it then can become trapped inside. 

The radon levels in a building can be affected by the type of ground beneath the building. Those buildings in granite-rich areas like Cornwall and Dartmoor might have higher levels of radon. A map has been published by Public Health England that shows where high levels are more likely to occur. The radon map indicates higher radon levels based on colour, the darker the colour, the greater the chances of a high radon level. But even in the darkest areas not all buildings will have high levels of radon. 

The levels of Radon in buildings can vary substantially from 10 Bq/m3 to more than 10 000 Bq/m3.  For levels below 100 Bq/m3, your individual risk remains relatively low and is not a cause for concern. However, the risk increases as the radon level increases.

Due to you not being able to see or smell Radon, occupants could be unknowingly working or living in very high radon levels. Which is why it is important to find out the yearly average radon level for your property and if it is above or below the Action Level.

A variety of proven, cost-effective techniques are available to control and manage indoor radon pollution.

What Are The Risks Of Radon Gas?

As long time average radon concentration increases by 100 Bq/m3, the risk of lung cancer increases by approximately 16%. Radiation exposure increases proportionally with increasing lung cancer risk – this is referred to as a linear relation.

The greatest risk of radon exposure usually occurs around the home since most people spend most of their time at home. However, exposure can also occur at indoor work sites.

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Contact our Glasgow team for further information on ensuring that the installation of your gas protection systems meets the required legislation & regulations

As long time average radon concentration increases by 100 Bq/m3, the risk of lung cancer increases by approximately 16%. Radiation exposure increases proportionally with increasing lung cancer risk – this is referred to as a linear relation.

The greatest risk of radon exposure usually occurs around the home since most people spend most of their time at home. However, exposure can also occur at indoor work sites.

It is important that you measure radon levels in your property for three months because levels can differ significantly between adjacent buildings and even within one building from day to day and hour to hour.

If you are a homeowner then it’s very easy for you to test the radon level in your home. When you have received your Radon Test Kit you simply place one of the plastic passive radon detectors in your living room and the other one in your main bedroom and then leave them for three months. After the three months is up you simply return them to us and your yearly average radon level will be calculated. If it turns out that your radon level is above the Action Level then one of our team will be able to advise you on the steps you need to take to reduce the radon level in your home to below the Action Level.

For commercial properties, such as care homes, workplaces, schools etc, you will need more radon detectors than the two supplied in our domestic kit. The size, layout and usage of your building will determine the number of detectors that you require. One of our radon surveyors will be happy to advise you on this

It’s not good to discover that your property has high levels of radon, but the good news is that the levels can be reduced with some simple building techniques that won’t set you back a fortune. You can reduce radon levels in your house by over 50% by installing a passive mitigation system. Adding radon ventilation fans brings further reductions in radon levels

Several radon mitigation options are available for your property depending on the design and the level of radon. Many people do not realize that the costs are only a few pounds to several hundred pounds, which isn’t nearly as much as they expect. We will provide you with the best radon solutions for your home after a radon survey is completed by one of our radon surveyors. Several solutions are available, from replacing or adding ventilation bricks to installing a small pump in your loft that gently circulates air in and around your building. Typically, the solutions for lowering your radon level will last years and need to only be checked occasionally.

Radon prevention should be considered when new structures are built, particularly in radon-prone areas.

  • Building Regulations 2004 (England, includes 2010 and 2013 amendments)
  • Building Regulations 2010 (Wales, includes 2017 amendments)
  • Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004
  • Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, supported by BRE report BR211

Describe where new buildings and extensions (workplaces and dwellings) might need to incorporate protective measures installed during construction.

New buildings can be protected during construction with well-tested, durable and cost-efficient methods for preventing radon ingress into new buildings. Installing a ‘radon proof’ barrier/ membrane within the floor structure and, in areas with a greater radon potential, provision of a ventilated sub-floor void or a ‘radon sump’ will aid in the prevention of high radon levels in the building.

A radon sump is a small, bucket sized, cavity under the floor with an electric pump drawing air from it. This reduces the normal under floor pressure with respect to radon in the soil and vents the radon gas outside the building where it quickly dissipates.

Since even new buildings with protective measures may have high radon levels, employers must still test as described above.

How To Test For Radon Gas In Your Property

It is important that you measure radon levels in your property for three months because levels can differ significantly between adjacent buildings and even within one building from day to day and hour to hour.

If you are a homeowner then it’s very easy for you to test the radon level in your home. When you have received your Radon Test Kit you simply place one of the plastic passive radon detectors in your living room and the other one in your main bedroom and then leave them for three months. After the three months is up you simply return them to us and your yearly average radon level will be calculated. If it turns out that your radon level is above the Action Level then one of our team will be able to advise you on the steps you need to take to reduce the radon level in your home to below the Action Level.

For commercial properties, such as care homes, workplaces, schools etc, you will need more radon detectors than the two supplied in our domestic kit. The size, layout and usage of your building will determine the number of detectors that you require. One of our radon surveyors will be happy to advise you on this

How To Protect Yourself From Radon Gas

It’s not good to discover that your property has high levels of radon, but the good news is that the levels can be reduced with some simple building techniques that won’t set you back a fortune. You can reduce radon levels in your house by over 50% by installing a passive mitigation system. Adding radon ventilation fans brings further reductions in radon levels

Several radon mitigation options are available for your property depending on the design and the level of radon. Many people do not realize that the costs are only a few pounds to several hundred pounds, which isn’t nearly as much as they expect. We will provide you with the best radon solutions for your home after a radon survey is completed by one of our radon surveyors. Several solutions are available, from replacing or adding ventilation bricks to installing a small pump in your loft that gently circulates air in and around your building. Typically, the solutions for lowering your radon level will last years and need to only be checked occasionally.

Preventing Radon Gas Ingress Into New Buildings

Radon prevention should be considered when new structures are built, particularly in radon-prone areas.

  • Building Regulations 2004 (England, includes 2010 and 2013 amendments)
  • Building Regulations 2010 (Wales, includes 2017 amendments)
  • Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004
  • Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000, supported by BRE report BR211

Describe where new buildings and extensions (workplaces and dwellings) might need to incorporate protective measures installed during construction.

New buildings can be protected during construction with well-tested, durable and cost-efficient methods for preventing radon ingress into new buildings. Installing a ‘radon proof’ barrier/ membrane within the floor structure and, in areas with a greater radon potential, provision of a ventilated sub-floor void or a ‘radon sump’ will aid in the prevention of high radon levels in the building.

A radon sump is a small, bucket sized, cavity under the floor with an electric pump drawing air from it. This reduces the normal under floor pressure with respect to radon in the soil and vents the radon gas outside the building where it quickly dissipates.

Since even new buildings with protective measures may have high radon levels, employers must still test as described above.

Leading experts in ground gas membrane installation inspection and integrity testing in Glasgow and throughout Scotland

Contact our Glasgow team for further information on ensuring that the installation of your gas protection systems meets the required legislation & regulations

Radon Gas (FAQ|Frequently Asked Questions}

What causes radon gas in houses?

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the UK. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

What are the symptoms of radon in your home?

Possible symptoms include shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), a new or worsening cough, pain or tightness in the chest, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing. If you smoke and you know you've been exposed to high levels of radon, it's very important to quit smoking.

Where is radon most commonly found?

Radon levels are usually higher in basements, cellars and living spaces in contact with the ground. However, considerable radon concentration can also be found above the ground floor. Radon concentrations vary considerably between adjacent buildings, as well as within a building from day to day and from hour to hour.

Should I worry about radon gas?

If we breath in high levels of radon over long periods of time this exposure can lead to damage to the sensitive cells of our lungs which increases the risk of lung cancer. Radon causes about 1,000 lung cancer deaths in the UK every year.

Do all homes have some radon?

Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

How do I get rid of radon in my home?

There are a number of radon mitigation options available for a property depending on the level of radon and the layout of the property. Solutions include replacing or adding ventilation bricks to installing a small pump in your loft that gently circulates air in and around your building. Typically, the solutions for lowering your radon level will last years and need to only be checked occasionally.

How much does it cost to fix a radon problem?

The cost of a mitigation system may vary according to the home's design, size, foundation, construction materials and the local climate. Many people do not realise that the costs are only a few pounds to several hundred pounds, which isn't nearly as much as they expect.

Is radon gas a natural source of radiation?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It has no smell, colour or taste. It is formed by the decay of small amounts of uranium in rocks and soils. The gas can also be present in water and some building materials.

How long do you have to be exposed to radon for it to be harmful?

If a person has been exposed to radon, 75% of the radon progeny in the lungs will become harmless lead particles after 44 years. When a particle damages a cell to make it cancerous, the onset of lung cancer takes at least five years, but often takes 15 to 25 years and even longer.