The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and BGS have provided an updated radon potential map of Great Britain.
Radon is a colourless and odourless gas that is attributed to 1,100 lung cancer deaths per year in the UK – a risk that is highest among smokers and ex-smokers.
The new map provides an authoritative analysis of the likelihood of a building being in a Radon Affect Area, an area where it is estimated that more than 1% of the properties contain high radon levels.
The interactive map, which has taken years of analysis and research to put together, is available HERE. Individuals and employers are being urged to check the new map to see if their property falls under a Radon Affected Area.
It is advised to have your home tested for radon gas if you live or work in an affected area. Properties situated here are more likely to contain high levels of radon due to the underlying geology and varying amounts of uranium present.
The majority of buildings in Great Britain remain outside of Radon Affected Areas, so the overall number of buildings with high radon levels has stayed the same. The new map has refined our knowledge of areas where high radon levels are likely to occur.
The risk of developing lung cancer from exposure to radon remains low, as the map shows that radon levels have not increased in the UK.
Tracy Gooding, principal radiation protection scientist at UKHSA:
“While the vast majority of buildings remain outside Radon Affected Areas, if the property you own is in an affected area, it is important that you arrange for a test.
“If you live in private or social rented accommodation, speak to your landlord, who should organise a test for you to carry out.
“Employers can use this map to help undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and take appropriate action where necessary.
“The updated map provides information that allows property owners, landlords and employers to make informed decisions on the benefits of undertaking radon measurements and potential remediation work.”
Russell Lawley, BGS Principal Geologist:
“Radon occurs in all rocks and soils. Using a revised statistical approach to our mapping of geology across Great Britain has enabled us to model where this geohazard is more likely to be present in buildings.
“This map is a significant update to the previously published version and will help to raise awareness about this geohazard.”
The objective of the new map is to allow local councils, national and regional governments, social and private landlord, private homeowners and employers to assess the radon risk in their properties.
The map will also provide a basis for building regulations where mitigating measures should be put in place for new builds.
UK Radon Association members offer testing services as well as mitigation and surveying. If you live in a Radon Affected Area, please visit our member page to find a supplier near you.
For more information on radon gas please see our Guide to Radon.