Radon is a colourless, tasteless and odourless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in rocks and soil.
Exposure to radon has been linked to lung cancer and the Health Protection Agency estimate that each year around 30 lung cancer deaths in Northern Ireland are caused by radon.
The levels of radon in the outside air is very low, however, it can be higher inside buildings. This means it is important to know the level of radon in your area and home.
If you are carrying out building works, we advise that you follow best practice based on the most recent radon information. In 2015, a survey carried out on radon levels across the UK showed that for the first time, some parts of Belfast are low risk radon affected areas. These areas of Belfast are categorised as Zone 1, meaning there is between a 1 and 10 per cent risk of radon being present. For new dwellings, extensions to existing dwellings and buildings converted into dwellings in Zone 1 areas, we suggest that this includes the installation of a radon membrane.
Where can you find out the level of radon in your area and your home?
You can find out if the area you live in is a radon risk area by viewing the UK radon map. When using the map you can search by town or by clicking on the find my location button. Selecting the show radon data button will highlight if the area is a radon risk area.
Special equipment is needed to detect radon. If you are concerned about the level of radon in your home, or workplace you can purchase a radon test report that includes a postal delivery of radon detectors.
Contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) on 028 9056 9299 for more advice.
For further information on radon and guidance on remedial measures to protect against or limit the amount of radon, visit: