Remember, Remember the 7th of November!

Scheduled to coincide with the birthday of famous scientist Marie Curie and to fall within Lung Cancer Awareness Month, European Radon Day is a much-needed event and in this, the first article of a special two-part series, we look at some of the dangers of radon in UK homes - subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss the follow-up article which will focus on ways to identify and mitigate the problem.

Radon Facts

  • The chemical element occurs naturally as thorium and uranium decay slowly to become lead. Thorium and uranium are the two radioactive elements found most commonly on Earth

  • Radon has no colour, smell or taste, making it impossible to identify without proper equipment

  • As one of the densest substances to remain in gaseous form under ordinary environmental conditions, radon is particularly heavy. This means that it can accumulate to way beyond normal concentration in below-ground structures such as cellars, basements and crawlspaces

  • Radon further decays to produce new elements that display radioactivity; these are known as decay products or radon ‘daughters’. These decay products are formed from solid particulate matter and adhere to dust particles which can then be inhaled

  • Most of our exposure to forms of ionizing radiation comes from radon and it is often the biggest contributor to one’s background radiation dose.

Radon Health Risk

  • Numerous epidemiological and case-control studies have been carried out worldwide and all have shown a clear link between the incidence of lung cancer and the inhalation of large amounts of radon gas

  • Radon is second only to cigarette smoking as a cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. According to estimates from the EPA, radon is the most frequent cause

  • In the USA, around 21,000 people die every year from radon-related lung cancer - almost 3,000 of these deaths occur in people who have never smoked tobacco

It is clear that checking for excessive amounts of radon and, if necessary, taking steps to remedy the issue, is crucial. Look out for our next article that will show you how we can help ensure your basement conversion, storage cellar or other underground structure is a safe and healthy space to be in.
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