Almost every UK household is affected by radon gas pollution, but it is the level that makes it toxic. What are the health risks of elevated radon levels? What is the best way to measure the radon levels in your home or workplace? And what measures can you take in case of a harmful concentration? This guide will inform you about the hidden dangers and how to protect yourself.
Was is Radon gas?
Radon is a gas produced by the decay of radioactive uranium, which naturally decomposes in the soil. Through tiny cracks and crevices in the foundation, the gas penetrates buildings and accumulates indoors. This is why basements and lower rooms are particularly affected. When inhaled, the gas causes irreversible damage to health, especially to the respiratory tract. Radon is one of the main causes of lung cancer in non-smokers.
The radon maps of the whole UK from Public Health England can provide an indication of whether your household or workplace is in a high risk area. Building materials of natural origin like clay or granite can also be contaminated with radon. For instance, levels may be higher in parts of the country rich in granite, like Dartmoor in Devon and Cornwall.
It is important to monitor your home and workplace over a longer period of time and to take appropriate measures if the concentration of the gas increases.
How to detect an increased radon concentration
Radon gas is odourless, invisible and doesn’t cause physical discomfort in the short term. So how can we assess whether the radon concentration in the air is elevated? And whether there is a potential health risk?
The only way to determine the radon content of a building is to measure the radon values over a long period of time. It’s important to select a high precision detector. This is because the concentration of radioactive noble gas in a room changes depending on the time of day and season.
With the help of a radon monitor, continuous monitoring is simple and inexpensive. It reduces the need for time-consuming and costly lab tests. Here’s two products and the functions that are used for radon monitoring:
Accurate and user-friendly measurement
The Airthings Home digital radon monitor carries out radon measurements quickly and easily. And after just 24 hours you‘ll receive your first results.
Both the long-term average value for the past twelve months and the short-term average values for the current and the last seven days can be taken from the LCD display.
The data updates every hour or every 24 hours to guarantee accuracy. It‘s lightweight and portable , making the radon monitor great for monitoring several rooms. So you can check your whole home for the harmful gas.
App control and advanced features
The Airthings Wave radon detector offers even more features. In addition to the radon levels, it also measures room temperature and humidity and sends information to your smartphone. The data is viewed and compared on the App Dashboard as graphs.
When it detects increased radon gas levels, the device warns you with an alarm tone or an app notification.
It‘s modern design, IFTTT and Alexa compatibility, mean the device fits perfectly into any smart home.
What should you do about increased radon concentration
Thanks to measuring instruments like these, you can track and monitor precise radon levels. But what should you do if a harmful concentration is detected?
Since the gas enters the building through the smallest openings in the foundation, it is advisable to seal the affected areas. If possible, you should think about an alternative use of the living spaces with high radon levels (for example, not sleeping in a basement with high radon levels). In the longer term, an intensive ventilation of the space will reduce risk.
Image: Adobe Stock, #131284361, nikkytok