Domestic dwelling

In radon affected areas such as the Derbyshire Dales, radon levels can become elevated in our homes. (Photo courtesy of the Health Protection Agency).

The only way of establishing whether a house has a radon problem is by having a radon test carried out. The radon test (see photo) is carried out over a three month period and will provide an average annual level for the property. The test is available from the Health Protection Agency.

What can I do if my level comes back over the action level?

A pair of radon detectors

If the result comes back at or above 200 becquerels per cubic metre then steps should be taken to reduce the amount of radon in your home. More recently, a new target level of 100 becquerels per cubic metre has been introduced. This is as a result of a recommendation from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The above action level of 200 becquerels per cubic metre has still been retained so that attention is focused on those at greatest risk. However, the target level aims to ensure we are aware of the risks from radon and encourage us to make efforts to reduce levels to as low as is practical.

The work undertaken to reduce the amount of radon in your home will be dependant upon how much the action level is exceeded by, and the type and construction of your property. We would recommend that householders reduce their level of radon as low as is reasonable possible and as near as practical to the new target level to protect health which is 100 becquerels per cubic metre.

In Derbyshire Dales we have recognised for many years that residents need support in dealing with radon in their homes and so we are able to offer specific advice and in some cases make advisory visits to homes to give step by step guidance on what action to take to reduce the level. Our work in this area over many years has shown that taking a staged approach to reducing levels is a positive way forward and one that many homeowners greatly appreciate. You can contact us using the details below.

Also, if you are in the process of buying a property in Derbyshire Dales we advise that you ask the seller whether the house has been tested for radon. If it has been tested the owner should be able show you written evidence of the results, indicating whether it is above or below the recommended action level of 200 becquerels per cubic metre. If no test has been undertaken we would advise discussing getting a radon bond with your solicitor.

The links below will be able to provide national guidance on radon issues regarding radon in your home, buying and selling properties in a radon affected area, methods of remediation and arranging a radon test.

Further information is available from:

British Geological Survey - radon protection reports

Building Research Establishment

Health Protection Agency

UK Radon

Contact details

Environmental Health   
Derbyshire Dales District Council
Town Hall
Bank Road
Matlock
DE4 3NN

Tel:  01629 761 212
Fax: 01629 761 165
Email: envhealth@derbyshiredales.gov.uk