Airtech gives 5 important Radon facts to support Radon Awareness Week
Airtech, the condensation, mould and radon specialists, is supporting UK Radon Awareness Week (7- 13 November 2022) by giving five important facts about radon. Run by the UK Radon Association, this year’s theme for UK Radon Awareness Week is ‘Give Me 5’ with the campaign giving five important facts about radon, covering five sectors in five days. In support of Radon Awareness Week, Airtech is therefore advising households, private landlords, social housing landlords and employers, to take 5 minutes to read the facts and make themselves radon aware since this could be one of the most important decisions they make this year.
Many people are still unaware that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, posing a significant risk to lung health with 1,100 deaths each year estimated to be caused by exposure to the gas. Lung cancer diagnosis and treatments have been the most delayed of all cancers during the pandemic due to factors including overlapping symptoms with COVID-19 and shared needs from respiratory medicine services. It’s therefore vital to learn about radon and its health effects and simple to carry out a radon tests in homes and workplaces to help protect families and employees.
For social housing and private landlords, it is essential they take action, since they have a duty of care to protect their residents from radon under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. Properties are assessed on a range of criteria and they will be deemed unfit for habitation if there are serious defects in one or more of them. Radon is listed as a hazard under the category ‘Hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System’. It is therefore vital for landlords to ensure their properties do not breach the Homes Act. Airtech can help housing providers by offering them with a complete solution to protect both residents and landlords.
Similarly, employers also have a duty of care to their employees and must comply with the HSE Health and Safety at Work Act, which states all employers must review the potential radon hazard in their premises to ensure the health and safety of employees and others who have access to their work environment. Risk assessment for radon should be carried out in all below ground workplaces in the UK, and all workplaces located in radon affected areas. Airtech can help employers by providing both radon testing and remediation.
“We are pleased to once again support Radon Awareness Week. Many people are unaware that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the UK after smoking, it is vital we raise awareness of the risks of this naturally occurring colourless, odourless radioactive gas”, explains Natasha King, RMI Product Manager at Airtech. “By encouraging households, social and private landlords and employers to learn about and test for radon as part of the UK Radon Association’s ‘Give Me 5’ campaign, we hope more people will take action to help protect lung health. At Airtech we can help with both testing and remediation to ensure properties are protected from high levels of radon.”
A naturally occurring colourless, odourless radioactive gas, radon disperses harmlessly into the air outdoors. However, once it finds its way indoors, through gaps and cracks in floors and walls, it may build up to potentially harmful levels. Every building has radon and in most areas the levels are low, however, some buildings in "radon affected areas" have higher levels. Households, landlords and employers in radon affected areas should have their properties tested to ensure they are not above the 200Bq/m3 action level set by Public Health England. Airtech offers an effective and efficient programme, testing properties with small unobtrusive pods placed in a property to detect radon over a three-month period to ensure accurate testing. If levels are above the threshold, high levels of radon in a property can be reduced with simple measures.
When high levels of radon are detected, Airtech will recommend an appropriate solution to help reduce radon presence. This could be installing positive input ventilation (PIV), which forces contaminated air out of a home by introducing fresh air into the property. Alternatively, in properties with very high levels of radon they may need to have an active radon sump fitted with a fan. Sumps work effectively under solid floors and under suspended floors if the ground is covered with concrete or a membrane.
Airtech offers a complete solution to help protect properties from the risks caused by radon gas with over 30 years of experience in radon prevention. The company offers a full range of products and services, from radon testing to full remediation of housing stock.
Give Me 5: Five Facts about Radon
1. Radioactive gas: A naturally occurring colourless, odourless radioactive gas, radon disperses harmlessly into the air outdoors. However, once it finds its way indoors, through gaps and cracks in floors and walls, it may build up to potentially harmful levels.
2. Lung cancer: Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the UK after smoking with over 1,100 deaths each year estimated to be caused by exposure to the gas.
3. Radon Levels: If a home has a radon level above 200Bq/m3, it is recommended by Public Health England to take action to reduce the level.
4. Duty of Care: The Homes Act makes social housing providers and private landlords more accountable for conditions in their homes. Properties will be deemed unfit for habitation if there are serious defects in one or more of the core areas listed in the Act including the Hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System which specifically includes radon gas.
5. Take 5 Minutes: By taking the time to become radon aware we can all help protect our families, residents and employees, especially those in "Radon Affected Areas". Radon testing is simple and undertaken by using small unobtrusive pods placed in a property to accurately detect radon over a three-month period. If the radon level above 200Bq/m3, it is recommended by PHE to take action to reduce the level.
Airtech is encouraging households, landlords and employers to carry out a radon test to protect the health of their family, residents and employees. Radon detectors can be used to test for radon which are small unobtrusive pods placed in a property. To ensure accurate testing test pods should be left in properties for a three-month period to help ensure correct radon readings are collected. If remediation is needed there are a number of solutions to fit the levels of radon present, this could be installing positive input ventilation (PIV), which forces contaminated air out of a home by introducing fresh air into the property. Alternatively, in properties with very high levels of radon they may require an active radon sump, fitted with a fan.