Home Property Study reveals the UK’s radioactive gas hotspots in our homes

Study reveals the UK’s radioactive gas hotspots in our homes

17th Jun 24 8:50 am

Truro in Cornwall has been named as the UK’s biggest hotspot for radioactive radon gas, according to recent research.

This means that homes in this area have the greatest chance of dangerously high radon levels.

The study, which was conducted by Go.Compare Home Insurance, used UK Health Security Agency data to uncover the UK’s top ten places worst affected by radon. The radioactive gas occurs all across the nation but is found in greater levels in certain areas.

Plymouth and Northampton join Truro in the top three hotspots. Based on the research, these areas have the most postcode districts where homes have the highest chance (a 30% or greater chance) of being above the government’s action level for radon. At this point, it is recommended that levels be reduced in homes.

South West England has three areas that appear within the top five, suggesting that radon levels here are particularly high. Exposure to high levels of radon can affect our health and is thought to be one of the leading causes of lung cancer.

Top 10 radon hotspots (based on the percentage of postcodes in each area with a risk level greater than 30%):

  1. Truro – 70%
  2. Plymouth – 29%
  3. Northampton – 26%
  4. Torquay – 21%
  5. Bath – 16%
  6. Lancaster – 9%
  7. Sheffield – 5%
  8. Derby – 5%
  9. Gloucester – 4%
  10. Peterborough – 3%

Rebecca Coates, head of radon projects at PropertECO Ltd, commented on whether residents should take action. She said: “I strongly recommend that everyone living in a designated radon-affected area tests their home as it is the only way to know what level of radon you and your family are being exposed to.

“The cost of a home radon test is approximately equivalent to having an MOT done on your car, which we all do every year to ensure it is safe to drive. Most of us spend a lot longer in our homes than in our cars, so it should be a no-brainer to check that our homes are safe – and if the results are low, it’s likely you won’t need to test again for 10 years.”

The research also revealed that just one in five UK adults is aware of the risks of radon in homes, with just over one in 20 ever testing for the gas.

Nathan Blackler, home insurance expert at Go.Compare, said: “Despite its ill effects, radon gas in our homes is something that, unfortunately, many residents simply aren’t aware of. Two-thirds of UK adults have never heard of the risks of radon exposure, with far fewer ever testing for it.

“Of course, radon levels differ across the UK, which is why we’ve pulled together a list of the top 10 hotspots. Though this list is not comprehensive for all residents, we hope that this will encourage those living in the worst affected areas to consider testing their own home.”

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