RAISING AWARENESS: THE IMPORTANCE OF RADON INSPECTIONS FOR BUILDING DUTY HOLDERS
Sep. 5 2023
Is there a hidden danger in your premises? Radon is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless radioactive gas that naturally emanates from soil and rock. It can seep into buildings and accumulate to dangerous levels, posing significant health hazards. And if you’re a duty holder responsible for the maintenance and safety of buildings, it’s time to take radon seriously.
What you need to know about radon
Radon is a known carcinogen, with exposure being linked to lung cancer. In fact, it's the second leading cause of lung cancer, responsible for a considerable number of cases each year. This risk is particularly pronounced in enclosed spaces such as homes, workplaces and public buildings where radon can accumulate. Given that buildings are often occupied for extended periods, the prolonged exposure to elevated radon levels heightens the potential health impact.
The only way to know if a building has a high radon level is to have it tested. That’s why it’s important for building duty holders to implement a comprehensive radon inspection programme, usually with the support of an independent compliance partner like Bureau Veritas.
Regular testing can gauge the concentration of radon gas within a building. Ideally, measurements should be taken in various areas to ensure accurate data collection. Based on the results, appropriate steps can be taken to mitigate the risks associated with radon exposure.
Why does it matter?
If a workplace is in a radon affected area, or a building that has basement workplace areas where employees spend a significant amount of time, employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to make an assessment of radon exposure.
However, this goes beyond box-ticking compliance. Identifying and mitigating the risks from radon will help to protect the safety of employees and other building users.
Radon is not a minor concern. The World Health Organization estimates that radon exposure causes up to 14% of lung cancer cases worldwide. In regions with higher levels of radon, for instance parts of the country rich in granite such as Dartmoor in Devon and Cornwall, the risk is even more significant.
How can Bureau Veritas help?
Our radon experts specialise in assessing, managing, and mitigating radon-related risks. Working with facilities management companies and other building duty holders, Bureau Veritas professionals conduct thorough radon inspections, provide guidance on mitigation strategies and offer training to building management teams. Our expertise helps you and your teams to make informed decisions that help protect occupants and meet regulatory requirements.