What is radon?
Radon is an odourless radioactive gas that results from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil. Uranium is present in most of the soil and rock around the world. It is typically concentrated in areas with lots of granite, shale, phosphate and pitchblende. The gas is a deadly carcinogen. It emits radioactive particles that can be inhaled into the lungs. The adverse health effect—lung cancer—may not be produced immediately. In the UK it is estimated that around 4% of all lung cancer deaths are as a result of radon – that’s 1,100 deaths per year.
Radon is naturally occurring and found outdoors in the air at a low levels. It comes from the decay products of uranium in the ground beneath buildings. It can seep in through cracks, sumps, joints, floor drains or other tiny openings in foundations.
What is the risk?
Every building contains radon but levels are normally low. It is possible, however, for radon in buildings to build up to high concentrations. Radon levels vary depending on which part of the country you’re in. Areas of the south-west of England and some parts of Wales have higher than average radon levels. You can find out more about the radon concentrations in your area on Public Health UK’s radon map.
How can I reduce the risk?
PHE’s advice is that an active radon sump, fitted with a fan, is the most effective way to reduce indoor radon levels. Sumps work best under solid floors and under suspended floors if the ground is covered with concrete or a membrane. Simple actions such as sealing around loft-hatches, sealing large openings in floors and extra ventilation do not reduce radon levels on their own, but when combined with other effective measures, they can improve the reduction of radon levels.
Green Drain prevents radon and other gases from entering your washroom
Unprotected drains can be a potential entry point for radon, and so implementing a drain trap seal device such as the Green Drain can be an effective and affordable way to reduce radon gas infiltration. The Green Drain does not only protect against radon but also prevents other odours, sewer gases, and insects from entering up through the floor drain grate. The Green Drain’s four flexible silicone sealing ribs ensure easy installation into openings that vary in size. The Green Drain opens to allow drainage and close when there is no water flow. It can be used in either new construction or retro-fit applications where trap primers were never installed.