It is colorless, odorless and tasteless, but high concentrations of this gas can increase the risk of cancer – and it occurs naturally on land.
Public health officials say every building contains radon and levels tend to be low, but there are hot spots across the country caused by the type of land on which buildings were built.
An interactive map provided by the UK Health Security Agency can tell you if you live in or near an area affected by high levels of radon gas.
The darker the color, the greater the chance of a higher gas level. The risk is less than one in a hundred homes in the white areas and greater than one in three in the darkest areas.
What is radon gas?
Radon is formed by radioactive decay from the small amounts of uranium found naturally in all rocks and soils. This means it is everywhere.
However, public health officials say every building contains radon and levels are usually low.
The probability of a higher level depends on the type of soil.
The radiation emitted by the elements can increase the risk of cancer and it appears that those living in rural areas are surrounded by more levels of this radioactive gas than urban areas such as London.
An interactive map has been released revealing levels of radon radiation in the UK.
The darker the color, the greater the chance of a higher gas level.
The chance is less than one in a hundred in the white areas and greater than one in three in the darkest areas.
How is South East London Affected by Radon Gas?
Much of the southeast is being hit by the dangerous gas, with high hot spots around Dartford, Greenwich and Bexley.
Although much of Bromley appears to have been particularly affected by the surrounding areas, including Beckenham which has been hit by the gas.
Many of the areas that appear to be most affected are along the River Thames with Dartford fully covered by the yellow warning.
As does Greenwich, which also seems to have a record of radon gas across the borough.
Is radon gas dangerous and am I at risk?
According to UKRadon, Radon produces a radioactive substance in the air we breathe.
The dust clings to our airways and emits radiation that damages the lining of our lungs. This damage, like the damage caused by smoking, increases our risk of lung cancer.
The higher the radon and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk.
To reduce the risk, UKRadon recommends that you find out if you live in a radon risk area and if so, measure your home. If the radon is high, reduce it and if you smoke, give it up.
How to control radon in your area?
If you’re concerned about radon risk in your area, you can purchase a radon risk report for £3.90 from the UK government’s website. This will tell you if your home is in a radon infested area.
If this is the case, the UK government will recommend measuring the radon concentration in your home.
You will be given two detectors to place in your home, one in the living room and one in an occupied bedroom.
After three months, return the detectors to the body in a prepaid envelope.
The detectors will be analyzed and the results will be sent back to you. This costs € 52.80 and can be ordered via this link.
You can find more information and view the interactive map here.