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Five facts every home owner should know about radon

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This post was last checked and updated in August 2023.

You may not have heard of it, but radon is a part of your life – wherever you live. Read five facts home owners should know about radon, including how it can affect your home and your health.

1) Radon is a gas which can seep into our homes
Radon gas is created when natural radioactive uranium slowly decays in the ground under our homes and seeps to the surface. Because of the way we heat and ventilate our homes, some radon gets indoors through the floor. This is where we get most of our radon exposure.

2) In some parts of the country, homes are more likely to have high radon levels
Every building contains radon but the levels are usually low. In some parts of the country homes may have higher levels, and the chances of a higher level depend on the type of ground. For instance, levels may be higher in parts of the country rich in granite, such as Dartmoor in Devon and Cornwall.


3) It’s easy to test your home’s radon levels
Take a look at our radon maps, which are updated every 10 years, and if you live in an area likely to be affected by higher levels of radon, you can get your property tested. Testing is easy. You place a plastic detector about the size of a biscuit in your living room, another in your bedroom and leave them for three months. After that you post them off and your radon level is calculated. If the level is high you can take steps to reduce radon levels in your home.


4) High radon levels in the home can be reduced
Although high levels of radon at home can be a problem the good news is they can be reduced by simple building works.  Many people’s first thought is “how much is this going to cost me?” but there are a few options to choose from, depending on the style of your home and your radon level, ranging from a few pounds to several hundred pounds. Radon solutions include replacing or adding ventilation bricks in outside walls or installing a small pump in the loft that gently blows in air. Most remedies work for years and only need an occasional check. Watch the video below for more information.

5) If you have high levels of radon at home, you should take action
If we breath in high levels of radon over long periods of time this exposure can lead to damage to the sensitive cells of our lungs which increases the risk of lung cancer. Radon causes about 1,000 lung cancer deaths in the UK every year. We also know that the combined risks of smoking and high radon exposure can really make a major difference to your chances of developing lung cancer. That’s why if you’ve got high radon at home and you smoke, it’s important you do something about it. Watch the video below to find our more about how radon can affect you.

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  1. Comment by Bren posted on

    Hello Neil,

    Thanks for the very informative blog and useful information.

    The blog clearly gives both information and further support .

    The only thought I would offer is to maybe state in further blogs and information how it not detectable by sight or smell.

    Thanks again for a great Blog Neil and all good wishes,


  2. Comment by Andrew moore posted on

    Cornwall is one area with some of the highest radon levels yet instances of lung cancer associated with radon is one of the lowest in the UK .
    A bit of a mismatch !

  3. Comment by Maria posted on

    Very informative, however I have copd, how would living I an area with low radon affect me