Myths vs. Facts

Myth: Granite work tops emit harmful levels of radon.

Fact: Research in America has indicated that there is likely to be more radon in the building materials found in the average home than in a granite worktop. The New York Times has reported that spurious claims about radon levels in granite work tops have been made by companies selling competitive worktop materials.


Myth: Radon is only a problem in granite areas.

Fact: High radon levels are found on many different rock types around the country, including some limestones and sandstones.


Myth: Houses with high radon levels are blighted.

Fact: High radon level houses can be remedied and there is no evidence that radon has caused any housing blight.


Myth: Radon causes leukaemia or other cancers.

Fact: There is clear evidence that radon causes lung cancer, but studies of the risks of other cancers have not demonstrated a risk from radon.


Myth: Radon remedial measures are ugly or noisy.

Fact: Properly installed remedial measures are quiet and unobtrusive.


Myth: I don’t need to test my house, because the house next door was tested and had a low radon level.

Fact: Radon levels vary greatly from house to house – the only way to find out if there is a problem is to measure the radon level.


Myth: Radon level are high in Devon and Cornwall, but the lung cancer rate is low, so radon cannot cause lung cancer.

Fact: Most lung cancers are caused by smoking. Studies have shown smoking rates are low in Cornwall, giving a low rate of lung cancer. However, studies of people in Cornwall and Devon have shown that higher radon levels in houses are associated with a higher risk of lung cancer for people living in those houses.


Myth: High radon levels are only found in Affected Areas.

Fact: Although the great majority of houses with radon problems are in radon Affected Areas, radon problems can occur almost anywhere.


Myth: Radon remedial measures require floors to be dug up.

Fact: In most cases remedial measures can be installed under the building from outside.


Myth: Radon remedial measures cost tens of thousands of pounds.

Fact: Effective remedial measures usually cost less than a thousand pounds, comparable with many other household expenditures.


Myth: Radon is good for you – there are radon spas in other countries.

Fact: The evidence from epidemiological studies shows that even radon exposures below the UK Action Level carry a risk of lung cancer.


Radon affected areas in the UK