Radon is a gas, which is produced naturally in rocks and soils and is radioactive. Normally, the gas is diluted in the open air, but it may concentrate in buildings, entering through small cracks and gaps. Radon has no smell, colour or taste so it is very difficult to detect.
If the property is a new house, you should find out whether protection was included when it was built. If it is an older house, you may wish to have a test done once you have moved in. Remedial work can be carried out afterwards, if necessary, in the same way as damp problems or timber treatment.
If there is a high risk that there will be a problem with the property, you may wish to renegotiate the price or agree a bond to cover remedial costs should they subsequently prove necessary. Since Radon is routinely controlled, it should not be seen as a reason for not buying a particular house.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is the UK’s primary expert on radon and radiation protection. UKHSA provides resources and advice about radon for the public, including individual householders, industry, education, and research. Further information can be obtained at www.gov.uk/government/collections/radon.
The UKradon website (www.ukradon.org) has more information about radon, including:
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