PHE offers help for Gloucestershire households with high radon
Neil McColl, head of radon at PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards
Hundreds of homes across Gloucestershire have been found to have high levels of radioactive gas radon.
Last autumn, Public Health England (PHE) invited about 18,000 households across Gloucestershire to apply for a free test for radon, a naturally occurring gas present in all homes.
Radon cannot be seen, smelt or tasted and for most people it is the largest single part of their annual radiation exposure. Each year radon is believed to lead to over 1,000 lung cancer deaths in the UK.
More than 7200 households took up the free radon test offer and PHE sent out kits which were placed in homes and returned for analysis after three months. Most householders have now been sent their test results
The results show that ten per cent of homes tested have radon over the Action Level – the point at which PHE recommends steps to reduce exposure. In Forest of Dean the highest level measured to date is over 30 times greater than the Action Level. In Cotswold a single property has a level seven times greater.
Neil McColl, head of radon at PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, said: “Whenever we run testing programmes we find a small number of properties with unusually high readings. What all of these results have shown us once again is that if you are in a radon affected area in Gloucestershire you should get your home tested – if you haven’t already done so.
“If your home is shown to have high levels of radon, you can then take practical steps to reduce your exposure and minimise your risk.”
PHE, together with staff from the local councils and the Building Research Establishment, are staging drop-in events for householders wanting more information about reducing radon. Following successful events in June, more householders that have been advised to take action have now been invited along to talk to the experts.
The team will be at;
Clearwell Memorial Hall, High Street, Clearwell
Wednesday 23rd September, 10 am - 7.30 pm
Thursday 24th September, 10 am - 5:30 pm
Cotswold District Council Chambers, Trinity Road, Cirencester
Thursday 1st October, 1 pm - 7.30 pm
Neil said: “At these events people will be able to get the information they need to be able to assess the scale of their exposure and make informed decisions about the next steps.
“Many people aren’t familiar with radon, so naturally when you get a radon test result you may want to find out more. Because of that we find it’s useful to run local events where people who want more information can ask us questions face-to-face, see examples of the simple measures and equipment used to reduce radon and get information from radon contractors.
“We also like to explain to people that reducing radon levels in the home can be quite straight forward - some remediation of homes can be undertaken by anyone with practical DIY experience.”
Posted: 15/09/2015 17:23:44
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