Performance of basic radon protection in new homes

09 April 2019

Article: 53/1407

Radon is a colourless, odourless radioactive gas. It’s formed by the radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils.

The main danger from high radon exposure is the increased risk of lung cancer. For most people, radon is the single largest source of radiation exposure whether they are at home or at work.

A new report published by Public Health England (PHE) investigates the performance of preventive measures in reducing radon levels in new homes built in areas of elevated radon risk by comparing radon levels in new properties built with basic radon prevention measures with levels observed in properties, in the same areas, that were built without preventive measures, prior to this building regulations requirement.

The results show that ‘basic’ preventive measures reduce radon levels in new properties by around 40% when compared with properties built without these measures in areas of elevated radon risk.

Radon levels in some properties were high despite having these basic measures in place. This supports existing advice that these properties should be tested for radon.

This evidence will be useful to those involved in designing and reviewing radon prevention measures in new properties.

Source: PHE, 5 April 2019