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What is radon?

The facts:

  • Radon is a natural gas found in soil and rocks
  • It has no colour, taste or smell
  • Levels vary from country to country, region to region and even from house to house in the same street
  • In open spaces, when radon mixes with air, it is quickly diluted into the atmosphere
  • But when air containing radon rises from the soil and rocks beneath your home it may find its way in - mainly through cracks in floors, walls and gaps around service pipes

The risks

Health studies around the world have linked radon with lung cancer. Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer; the first is smoking. People who are exposed to high levels of radon are more likely to get lung cancer, and the risk to smokers will be much higher than the risk to non-smokers. Households at risk from radon can easily take simple and effective steps to make their home safe.

The tests

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has devised a safe, simple and confidential test to measure levels of radon in your home.

Two test detectors are sent to you by post. It takes just two minutes to put them in place - one for the living room and another for an occupied bedroom. After three months you simply return them in a reply paid envelope.

The detector is nothing more than a piece of spectacle lens plastic in a protective shell, about the size and shape of a small doorknob. The plastic records radon which will be measured by experts at accredited laboratories. There are also shorter tests available, but these are not as accurate as the recommended three-month test and their results should be used with care.

Take the test

From the results of the Government’s earlier radon campaigns and a country wide survey, the HPA has been able to identify those areas of the country where some homes may have higher than normal radon levels. Householders who are most likely to have high radon levels in their homes - where the risk is greatest - are being offered free radon measurements..

You can make your home safe

If your home does prove to have particularly high radon levels, there are simple, inexpensive and effective measures you or a builder can take to reduce radon to acceptable levels. They usually involve minor construction work and possibly the installation of a fan system to keep radon from entering the house.

You can get more information on radon on the official HPA site UKradon.

Building Control 

Tel: 01522 873427 

Email:  building.control@lincoln.gov.uk

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