Radon FAQ's

As we are unable to take and radon related calls or emails please find a list of the most frequently asked questions with answers to assist you.

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Q) Can you send me a radon test kit please?

A) The Council does not supply test kits. You should call Public Health England (PHE) on 01235 822622 or visit their Website http://www.ukradon.org/services/orderdomestic to purchase a kit

 

Q) Your website says there are free test available?

A) You could be looking at an old press release. If you visit the main radon page at www.cornwall.gov.uk/radon it does say there that there are no free tests at this time.

 

Q) Where should the detectors go in my property?

A) Full details are in the detector pack, however they should not be sited on the floor but at a height of 1-2 m. Ideally on a sideboard, display unit, dressing table or wardrobe. Also they should not be placed on window sills.

 

Q) If my level is found to be high, what happens then?

A) The result will be sent to you with some suggested mitigation works and if you can then contact a contractor to reduce the levels if so desired.

 

Q) What’s the difference between the target level and action level?

A) A new target level for radon of 100 Bq m-3 was introduced in July 2010. This level does not replace the current action level . After recent research which showed that the health effects of radon are seen below the 200 Bq m-3 action level especially for those who smoke or are ex smokers the decision was taken to encourage remediation below this new target level. Please click the HPA press release link to view the introduction of the new target level.

 

Q) I have lost my radon detectors return envelope/paperwork. What do I do?

A) Contact the PHE on 01235 822622 who should be able to send a replacement, or go to http://www.ukradon.org/article.php?key=downloadable_content and at the bottom of this page is a return label you can print off

 

Q) I live in a rented property, what should I do?

A) You should tell your landlord of the result. If they dismiss this you can contact the Private Sector Housing team to report the matter.

 

Q) I have received my radon result. I have spoken to my next door neighbour and their result is a lot more/less. Is this normal?

A) Yes. The results can vary from property to property, even if they are in a terrace of houses. There are many reasons for this. These include the amount of radon gas entering your property, how well ventilated it is and how you choose to live in your home.

 

Q) Whilst I had the detectors in place I was carrying out building works. Could this have altered my result?

A) It is possible. It would be dependant upon how much disruption there was and for how long. It would be advisable to seek further advice from PHE as to whether another test is necessary to accurately record your properties radon level.

 

Q) Are there any grants available?

A) Unfortunately at this time there is no financial assistance to mitigate for radon.

 

Q) Do you have any information you can send me?

A) Some information leaflets are available on the PHE website http://www.ukradon.org/article.php?key=downloadable_content

 

Q) Are there any local contractors you can recommend?

A) There is a list of builders who we know carry out radon work. We do not endorse, accredit, approve or recommend specifically anyone on this list.

 

Q) Where can I get a copy of my previous results?

A) Call PHE on 01235 822622 or email radon@phe.gov.uk and request a copy of the result report

 

Q) How will my radon result affect me and my home?

A) Health impacts can be seen at levels below the action level according to PHE. However the risk is considerably less if you do not smoke. We know that smoking is the biggest cause of lung cancer but there is a combined risk where a smoker lives in a house with high radon levels. In the vast majority of properties, radon can be reduced to satisfactory levels by fitting one of the accepted reduction systems. If you smoke but cannot afford to have a system installed, quitting smoking can help considerably. Do not forget that this can also have other health and financial benefits. In almost every case the decision as to whether anything is done about the radon level is up to you.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Stop Smoking Service.
Tel: 01209 215666

 

Q) I wish to retest my property before I carry out any works. How do I go about this?

A) This is usually only necessary if there is some doubt about the test result you have. These could be related to changes to your property through extensions, new windows, heating systems or air flows. Even if your test result was carried out some years ago, if the property is essentially the same, PHE would be confident of its validity. Further testing can be carried out but it will generally have to be paid for. Some exceptions can be made but these tend to be generally where the level is very high (over 10 000 becquerels per metre cubed).

 

Q) My home has recently been built. I thought it had radon protection installed?

A) Since the 1990’s all new build properties have had radon precautions installed. This is inevitably a radon barrier (plastic membrane) and depending upon its construction type, a mini sump or air bricks. If the barrier fails then the sump if fitted can be activated by attaching an electric fan. It is suggested that all new build properties are tested for radon once they are inhabited.

 

Q) I am having issues relating to noise from my/my neighbours radon sump fan?

A) Speak to your installer as there are usually some simple things to try which may reduce the noise experienced. If it’s your neighbours system, try having a word with them about the noise and see if there is something that can be done.

 

Q) Can I turn my radon fan off for a few days a week to reduce the cost and/or strain on it?

A) NO, turning a fan on and off can actually increase the levels in your home significantly as the radon is concentrated in the sump by the fan and if it’s then switched off there is no way for it to escape and will get into the property.