Skip to main content
hpa logo
Topics A-Z:
Search the site:
Home News centre National Press Releases 2011 Press Releases ›  Radon data published

Radon data published

8 March 2011

Millions of households across England and Wales can now access details about radon measurements in their area, in a new HPA report.


For many years the Health Protection Agency’s radon team has been gathering and publishing data on indoor concentrations of the gas across the UK.

The new report, published at http://www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/Radiation/CRCEScientificAndTechnicalReportSeries/HPACRCE015/ brings together thousands of measurements made by the Agency in England and Wales and presents summaries by postcode and by council area. The new work has allowed scientists to calculate that between 100,000 and 200,000 homes across England and Wales are above the radon Action Level; the threshold at which HPA recommends that radon should be reduced.

Radon is a naturally occurring odourless, colourless, radioactive gas and is the second largest cause of lung cancer in the UK.

“This resource will give anyone in England and Wales a snapshot of radon levels in their area as it usefully shows information for different postcodes and local council areas,” said Dr John Cooper, director of the HPA’s Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards.

“We get hundreds of inquiries about radon every month. These data, together with the previously published maps of radon Affected Areas, will allow people to find out about radon in their area. If they are in a radon affected area, we recommend that they test their home for radon. Householders can get more information from www.ukradon.org.”

The report shows the total number of homes where radon levels have been measured as well as information about the highest readings found and the total number of homes at, or above, the Action Level.

Notes to Editors

 

  • Radon is a radioactive product of the decay of naturally occurring uranium found in all soils. It is present in all parts of the UK, although the gas disperses easily so outdoor levels are generally very low. Indoor radon levels vary widely and tests are available for homes where levels might be high.
  • Radon is measured in Becquerels per cubic metre of air (Bq m-3) The average radon level in homes across the UK is 20 Bq m-3. The HPA recommends that householders should take action to reduce radon levels if their home has a reading of, or over, 200 Bq m-3, the radon Action Level.
  • The new report updates data tables published in 2002. No information is provided about individual properties. To view the report visit http://www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/Radiation/CRCEScientificAndTechnicalReportSeries/.
  • For more information about radon such as health risks, radon maps and remediation, visit www.ukradon.org or www.hpa.org.uk.
  • To contact the HPA’s National Press Office for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards for information or interviews call 01235 822745/876/737.

20 February 2012: Links to the report updated to reflect new URLs.

Last reviewed: 20 February 2012