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Is your workplace in a radon affected area?
The campaign saw employers, home owners and health care professionals gain a greater knowledge of the naturally occurring, radioactive gas and the dangerous effects it can have on the human body.
These were just some of the messages which were promoted throughout UK Radon Awareness Week:
- Every building in the UK contains some level of radon
- Properties that lie in certain areas of the UK are more likely to contain higher levels of radon, due to the underlying geology and varying amounts of uranium present
- UK regulations state that employers must assess the risk from radon in their premises
- Employers with premises that contain basement workspaces or that are situated in ‘Affected Areas’ have a duty to conduct a radon test
At BCS, we know just how important it is for employers to recognise if their workplace is in a risk area and if it is, what they need to do next to protect their employees from breathing in this toxic gas.
So how do you check what level of radon your building is exposed to?
PHE has created a fantastic tool to help you assess your building’s radon levels by using its UK Radon Map.
It's important to remember that every building contains radon but if the levels are low, then you don’t need to act.
The interactive map shows you the areas where there are high levels of radon. The darker the colour, the greater the chance of a higher radon reading.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you use the map:
- Click on this link
- Scroll down and click on ‘Explore the interactive map’
- Search a town or postcode in the top search bar
- Then click on ‘Show Radon data’ on the left-hand side to see the radon levels in that area, you may need to zoom out at this point
- Remember, the darker the colour, the higher the level of radon in that area
What do I do if I’ve checked the map and my building is in a radon affected area?
As radon is odourless and tasteless, the only way to get an accurate reading of the level of radon in a building is to use a specialist detector, which must be placed in the property before being sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Radon detectors are small and discreet, and the whole process including laboratory analysis is inexpensive.
As radon levels fluctuate according to seasonal and occupational variances, a three-month period is required to take such inconsistencies into account.
The result is given in a unit called Becquerels and expressed as Becquerels per cubic metre of air (bq/m3).
The number of detectors required depends upon the size, layout and usage of the building, and we can advise you on this.