Radon is a natural radioactive gas. You cannot see, hear, feel or taste it. It comes from the minute amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils.
Radon is present in all parts of the UK, although the gas disperses outdoors so levels are generally very low. We all breathe it in throughout our lives - for most UK residents, radon accounts for half of their total annual radiation dosage.
However, geological conditions in certain areas can lead to higher than average levels. Exposure to particularly high levels of radon may increase the risk of developing cancer.
The most effective way to deal with radon is to fit a 'radon sump' to a property to vent the gas into the atmosphere.
A sump has a pipe connecting a space under a solid floor to the outside. A small electric fan in the pipe continually sucks the radon from under the house and expels it harmlessly to the atmosphere. Modern sumps are often constructed from outside the house so there is no disruption inside.
Radon Protective Measures Radon Sump Construction Health and Safety Executive
Building Research Establishment Request for Radon Protective Measures Site Report