The geology of the Mendip District gives rise to levels of radon gas. Radon is a naturally occurring colourless, odourless gas which is emitted by certain rocks and soils.
Some of the largest emissions in the country originate from rocks present in the geology of the south west of England. Radon only becomes hazardous to health when it builds up in enclosed spaces.
What should I do if I am concerned about radon?
Public Health England (PHE) is the UK's primary expert on radon and radiation protection. PHE provides resources and advice about radon for the public, including individual householders, industry, education and research.
More information can be found on the UK radon website (www.ukradon.org) including:
- health risks;
- maps of radon-affected areas; and
- the radon measurement services that PHE offers.
Employers also have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure employees are not exposed to high levels of radon in the workplace. For further advice and information on radon in the workplace visit the Health and Safety Executive website (www.hse.gov.uk) which has publications for download and advice on how to comply with the law.
The Council's Building Control Team can also provide information regarding radon in existing and new build properties.
Radon and house purchase
Even in affected areas, most homes do not have a radon problem. In some cases we may be able to provide an estimated probability that a particular property is above the action level for radon. A more accurate estimated probability may be obtained from the UK radon website (www.ukradon.org) for a nominal fee. The only way to accurately find out is to carry out a radon test.
If you are buying a home, ask whether it has been tested for radon. Sellers are not legally obliged to volunteer the information that they know, but if you ask for it they must give it. Ask to see a letter giving the result. If, as in most cases, the result is under the action level, the home does not need to have the radon level reduced.
If the result is above the action level, then there may be a problem. In homes that do have a radon problem, the radon level can usually be reduced with simple, effective and reasonably inexpensive measures.
Please use the radon form below for enquiries.