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Radon gas

This content applies to England & Wales

A brief overview of radon gas.

Radon is a clear, odourless, naturally occurring radioactive gas that escapes naturally from the rock beneath the earth's surface and can cause lung cancer if it builds up in high concentrations

Some areas of the country are worse affected than others, although even properties in non-affected areas can be affected with high levels of radon. Measurement of radon levels may be important for people buying or selling property. Remedial work can be carried out where levels of radon gas are found to be dangerously high.

The Radon Council has a list of contractors, suppliers and consultants who will test for radon and carry out remedial work if necessary.

Radon is a hazard that can be rated under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and so the local authority can enforce that remedial works are carried out, under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, or use the other powers under the Act, such as Prohibition Orders. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System Operating Guidance [1] indicates that radon levels in excess of 200Bqm-3 in a dwelling would be considered a Category 1 hazard under the Act, and therefore the local authority would be under a duty to take one of the courses of action available.

[1] Section 9, Housing Health and Safety Rating System: Operating Guidance, ODPM, 2006.


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