Radon: are your staff or tenants at risk?

Each year, more than 1,100 lung cancer deaths in the UK are linked to radon. A colourless, odourless, radioactive gas, radon is formed by the radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. Radon produces radioactive particles in the air we breathe, which become trapped in our airways and emit radiation that damages our lungs. This damage increases our risk of lung cancer, especially when linked with smoking. Radon is everywhere, both outside and indoors, in all parts of the UK. In most areas, the indoor radon levels are low and the risk to health is small. But in ‘Affected Areas’ it is higher and, if you are a social landlord or employer, it is your responsibility to protect your tenants or employees from radon exposure and potential harm.

Landlords have a duty of care to provide a safe home to their tenants under the Housing Act 2004. This includes protecting against radon, which is identified as a potential hazard in the government’s Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Employers have a duty to protect their employees from radon, which should be considered in the risk assessment required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in buildings where people are at work. There is a specific requirement for radon in the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017.

UKHSA advises government and the public on radon-related issues and has four decades of experience and expertise in delivering radon programmes for landlords and workplaces. Through our website www.ukradon.org, we provide information about radon, the risk of harm from radon, provide an interactive map where you can check if your housing stock and workplaces are in a radon Affected Area, and what to do when action needs to be taken. Our experience includes radon research, detector calibration, policy setting and international standards, and running effective radon measurement programmes for our customers.

We remain independent of companies providing remedial services and our advice is impartial.

You can get in touch to discuss your requirements: email us at radon(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)ukhsa.gov.uk or call 01235 822622 to speak to the team.