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Radon Awareness Week – Information for Home Workers 

Radon Awareness Week – Information for Home Workers 
04 November 2020
 

On Radon Awareness Week, Airthings is working to educate the UK’s new home workers on what radon is and how to monitor levels inside the home.

The primary goal of Radon Awareness Week is to raise the public’s awareness and knowledge of radon is and the risks it presents to our health. Most of us have spent more time in our homes this year than normal, and indoor air quality is an additional safety measure to consider.

2020 has also been a year when lung health has been in the spotlight due to the coronavirus pandemic and as Zak Bond of the British Lung Foundation recently commented, “Now more than ever before we have all become aware of how important it is to look after our lungs”.

 

Radon Exposure – What You Need to Know

 

Radon is a naturally occurring gas which is the result of uranium from the Earth’s crust decaying, and we are all exposed to it on a daily basis.

This isn’t a problem when it’s inhaled in the open air but the radon concentration within buildings is often much greater than outside. With closed windows and more airtight buildings, radon is captured and contained in our homes, resulting in levels that we seldom find in nature.

Exposure over long periods of time can have adverse effects on our health. House fires claim the lives of an average of 200 people each year in the UK, while 1,100 lung cancer deaths per year are linked to radon. Properties in the South-West are particularly vulnerable as high levels of radon are in the region due to the large amounts of granite that can be found there. Similarly, the other areas of the UK highlighted by Public Health England are exposed to higher levels of radon due to the type of soil and rocks in the ground which properties have been constructed on.

 

WavePlus Mobile App

Picture: a photograph of a person using an app to monitor the indoor air quality in their home. A dog can be seen in the foreground

 

The UK Homes Act which came fully into force in March 2020 makes landlords responsible for many things that ensure the properties are fit for human habitation, including radon levels, and applies to all rented properties – both those rented from private landlords or from local authorities (including social housing). Airthings' indoor air quality monitors can detect indoor air pollutants such as radon, airborne chemicals (VOCs), mould risk, temperature, humidity and pressure.

Regardless of whether you live in what is deemed as a high or low-risk radon exposure area, you should still take steps to safeguard your home, your family, and your health. Indoor air quality monitors such as Airthings' are easy to install and allow you to monitor and keep track of the radon levels in your home over the course of weeks, months, and even years. 

 

How to Reduce the Risk

 

While Public Health England recommends conducting a three-month radon test in your property as a minimum, it is advisable to monitor radon levels continuously, as these fluctuate over time and are influenced by the elements in our environment. If worrying levels of radon are found, you can then take swift action to reduce the amount of it in your home by:

 

  • Checking for and sealing up holes and cracks in your home’s foundations
  • Regularly opening windows and doors, and;
  • Installing vent pipes
  • Monitoring radon to ensure levels stay low

 

The only way to know if there is radon in your home is to monitor the air. There are several options available, from single-test kits to digital detectors, but it’s important to note that radon levels fluctuate over time and are influenced by the elements in our environment. Monitoring over long periods of time allows for such fluctuations to be accounted for, giving you more accurate and meaningful results.

You can find out more about how working from home is expected to affect our environment this winter here. 

Picture: a photograph of a digital air monitoring device alongside a smartphone

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 04 November 2020

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