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What is Radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas, we can't see, smell or taste it: you need special equipment to detect it. It comes from the rocks and soil found everywhere in the UK. The radon level in the air we breathe outside is very low but can be higher inside buildings due to the lack of ventilation. High levels of radon can cause lung cancer, particularly for smokers and ex-smokers. Radon produces tiny radioactive particles in the air we breathe. Radiation from these particles damages our lung tissue, and over a long period may cause lung cancer. The higher the level and the longer the period of exposure, the greater the risk will be. Actual health issues due to high radon levels are rare and require a life-time of exposure.

The Council's responsibilities

Stroud District identifies and monitors its housing stock at potential risk of radon following the UK official guidance from UK Health Security Agency, We contact our tenants living in a high-risk radon area to offer a free test on a cyclical basis and any high levels of radon will be managed to acceptable levels. This could be by the fitting of a radon sump fan in the property.

Tenant responsibilities

Only some areas are within the district are highlighted to be an area where radon gas is present. If you are contacted by the council informing you that you need to have testing equipment fitted, please ensure that you allow this to be carried out. The tests will be installed in 2 areas in your home and will be left in situ for 3 months, they will be placed as discreetly as possible in 2 areas of your home, (normally a bedroom and lounge). If the result of the test is higher than is recommended by UK Health Security Agency, then remedial action will be taken, usually by fitting sump and fan.

If the property you move into has a radon fan fitted then it is important that you keep this switched on, the fan will need to be serviced on a two-yearly basis and you will need to ensure that you give the engineers access for them to carry out this work. As a gesture of goodwill, the council may offer you an annual payment towards the cost of running the fan if one is installed in your home. This will be paid 12 months in arrears.

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