Airtech, the condensation, mould and radon specialists, is once again supporting UK Radon Awareness Week (6 – 12 November 2023) by helping raise awareness of the gas. Run by the UK Radon Association, this year’s UK Radon Awareness Week is aiming to ensure members of the public have a greater awareness and understanding of radon and the health risks it poses. Airtech is therefore advising households, private landlords and employers, to learn about radon and its health effects and to carry out a radon test in homes and workplaces to help protect families and employees.
In the run up to UK Radon Awareness Week, the UK Radon Association conducted a survey which found that just 10% of UK adults are aware of radon. Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer after smoking, posing a significant risk to lung health with 1,100 deaths each year estimated to be caused by exposure to the gas. It’s therefore vital to learn about radon and its health effects and fortunately it is simple to carry out radon testing in homes and workplaces to help protect families and employees.
“Radon gas is a silent killer and yet most people don’t even know what it is. It’s shocking that only one in ten people had heard of the gas, and even more shocking, in my opinion, that most of those we questioned were not concerned about its presence in their homes”, said Maria Dugdale, Chair of the UK Radon Association. “We must not let it become the next asbestos, with the public asking, ‘why didn’t we know how bad it was for us sooner?’ It’s imperative that, with the support of organisations and experts in the field, the Government works to increase awareness of radon gas, encourages radon testing and gives guidance on how homeowners can combat high levels in their property if they’re detected.”
“We are pleased to support UK Radon Awareness Week once again. Awareness of the dangers of radon, and even of radon itself, are startlingly low and we are dedicated to helping raise awareness of the risks of this naturally occurring colourless, odourless radioactive gas”, explains Natasha King, RMI Product Manager. “By encouraging households, social and private landlords and employers to learn about and test for radon, and take steps to reduce levels if needed, we hope more people will take action to help protect lung health. At Airtech we can help with both testing and remediation to ensure properties are protected from high levels of radon.”
For social housing and private landlords, it is essential they take action, since they have a duty of care to protect their residents from radon under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. Properties are assessed on a range of criteria and they will be deemed unfit for habitation if there are serious defects in one or more of them. Radon is listed as a hazard under the category ‘Hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System’. It is therefore vital for landlords to ensure their properties do not breach the Homes Act. Airtech can help housing providers by offering them a complete solution to protect both residents and landlords.
Similarly, employers also have a duty of care to their employees and must comply with the HSE Health and Safety at Work Act, which states all employers must review the potential radon hazard in their premises to ensure the health and safety of employees and others who have access to their work environment. Risk assessments for radon should be carried out in all below ground workplaces in the UK, and all workplaces located in radon affected areas. Airtech can help employers by providing both radon testing and remediation.
A naturally occurring colourless, odourless radioactive gas, radon disperses harmlessly into the air outdoors. However, once it finds its way indoors, through gaps and cracks in floors and walls, it may build up to potentially harmful levels. Every building has radon and in most areas the levels are low, however, some buildings in radon affected areas have higher levels. Households, landlords and employers in radon affected areas should have their properties tested to ensure they are not above the 200Bq/m3 action level set by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Airtech offers an effective and efficient programme, testing properties with small unobtrusive pods placed in a property to detect radon over a three-month period to ensure accurate testing. If levels are above the threshold, high levels of radon in a property can be reduced with simple measures.
When high levels of radon are detected, Airtech will recommend an appropriate solution to help reduce radon presence. This could be installing positive input ventilation (PIV), which forces contaminated air out of a home by introducing fresh air into the property. Alternatively, in properties with very high levels of radon they may need to have an active radon sump fitted with a fan. Sumps work effectively under solid floors and under suspended floors if the ground is covered with concrete or a membrane.
Airtech offers a complete solution to help protect properties from the risks caused by radon gas with over 30 years of experience in radon prevention. The company offers a full range of products and services, from radon testing to full remediation of housing stock.
Five Facts about Radon
1. Radioactive gas: A naturally occurring colourless, odourless radioactive gas, radon disperses harmlessly into the air outdoors. However, once it finds its way indoors, through gaps and cracks in floors and walls, it may build up to potentially harmful levels.
2. Lung cancer: Exposure to radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the UK after smoking with over 1,100 deaths each year estimated to be caused by exposure to the gas.
3. Radon Levels: If a home has a radon level above 200Bq/m3, it is recommended by the UKHSA to take action to reduce the level.
4. Duty of Care: The Homes Act makes social housing providers and private landlords more accountable for conditions in their homes. Properties will be deemed unfit for habitation if there are serious defects in one or more of the core areas listed in the Act including the Hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System which specifically includes radon gas.
5. Be Aware: According to a recent survey by UK Radon Association only 10% of UK adults are aware of radon. By taking the time to become radon aware we can all help protect our families, residents and employees, especially those in “Radon Affected Areas”. Radon testing is simple and undertaken by using small unobtrusive pods placed in a property to accurately detect radon over a three-month period. If the radon level above 200Bq/m3, it is recommended by UKHSA to take action to reduce the level.
Airtech is encouraging households, landlords and employers to carry out a radon test to protect the health of their family, residents and employees. Radon detectors can be used to test for radon which are small unobtrusive pods placed in a property. To ensure accurate testing test pods should be left in properties for a three-month period to help ensure correct radon readings are collected. If remediation is needed there are a number of solutions to fit the levels of radon present, this could be installing positive input ventilation (PIV), which forces contaminated air out of a home by introducing fresh air into the property. Alternatively, in properties with very high levels of radon they may require an active radon sump, fitted with a fan.