Radon occurs naturally in the environment. Radon gas is created when natural radioactive uranium slowly decays and can be found in all rocks and soils.
Radon can be found everywhere in the United Kingdom, although certain parts of the UK will have higher concentration levels than others. To check whether you are in a high Radon concentrated area visit https://www.ukradon.org/information/ukmaps
Radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre of air (Bq m-3) and specialist equipment is required to detect it.
The average level of Radon in UK homes is 20 Bq m-3. For levels below 100 Bq m-3, individual risk remains relatively low and not a cause for concern. However, the risk to health increases as radon levels increase.
Radon can migrate into any building that is built over a source.
If Radon accumulates in a building, it increases the risk of lung cancer for occupants. Radon is the cause of 15% of lung cancers worldwide (World Health Organisation ‘WHO’ 2009) and the main cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and is responsible for over 1100 deaths in the UK every year.
Research published has found that radon levels are increasing in buildings and homes due to the changes we are making to building efficiencies (such as energy efficiency). This in turn will lead to an increase in the number of lung cancer deaths attributable to radon exposure.
Various ground gas barriers are available together with all additional accessories (sumps, mitigation fans etc.,). Protection systems and sumps can be used on new, retrofit and refurbishment construction although design considerations are more complex on retrofitted projects.
Combining Waterproofing Design with Ground Gas Protection
Innovations within the waterproofing sector have seen the introduction of Ground Gas Protection Systems, which are capable of offering both gas protection and waterproof solutions; Rentacure incorporating Oxford Basements can offer this service.
A Waterproofing Design Specialist will be able to interpret the requirements of BS8102:2022 and BS8485:2015 to produce a waterproofing design which incorporates both a waterproof and gas proof protection system.