Exposure to radon gas is a leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and is responsible for over 1100 deaths in the UK every year. High levels of radon can be found in buildings of any type, size or location with occupants unaware of the potential danger unless a specific test has been carried out.
During UK Radon Awareness Week 2022, the UK Radon Association’s Give Me 5 campaign will bring you 5 important facts about radon for 5 sectors, over 5 days.
Dr Maria Dugdale, Chair of UK Radon Association said, “Increasing awareness of radon is vital if the number of deaths from radon-related lung cancer is to be reduced. These deaths are largely avoidable, but many homeowners, landlords and employers still aren’t aware of the need to test their properties.” She continued, “The Give Me 5 campaign attempts to cut through the often confusing and technical language and bring five key messages to stakeholders in an easy-to-understand format.”
From Monday to Friday during Radon Awareness Week, the campaign will be targeting the information at different groups: families, employers, healthcare providers, school leaders and landlords.
In private housing, there is no obligation to test for radon however it is becoming increasingly requested by prospective purchasers when a property comes onto the market. Landlords have a responsibility under the Housing Act 2004 and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 to assess the risk of radon in each of their tenanted properties. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, all employers must assess health and safety risks, and this includes radon. For both landlords and employers, if the property is located within a designated radon ‘affected area’, radon testing must be carried out to measure the hazard and complete the risk assessment.
Dr Dugdale continued, “For the first time we are including a targeted message for healthcare providers, calling on them to draw patients’ attention to radon and the impact it may be having on their health. If caught early, lung cancer can be treated much more effectively yet there is still a common misconception that it is only a smoker’s disease. If more people realised that being exposed to high levels of radon in their homes or workplaces could lead to lung cancer, whether you are a smoker or not, those with possible symptoms would be less likely to brush them off and seek medical advice sooner.” She continued, “We are also targeting schools as this is a sector that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have been particularly active in assessing compliance in over the past 12 months. Many schools have been, contacted by an Inspector requesting to see their radon risk assessment, and if this cannot be produced have been given a deadline by which to provide it.”
Give Me 5 infographics for each of the five stakeholder sectors can be downloaded from the Radon Awareness Week microsite Resources page, and will be shared throughout the week on social media using #GiveMe5 and #radonaware.
Radon Awareness Week runs from 7th – 13th November 2022. Join in the discussion online using #radonaware and follow us on Linkedin and Twitter