The parts of Leicestershire most at risk of radioactive gas: Radon
Radon can cause major health problems - and it's common in certain areas of the county
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Radon exposure around Market Harborough
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A cancer-causing radioactive gas has been detected in parts of Leicestershire.
Radon gas exposure can cause lung cancer, and has been attributed to around 1,100 deaths every year.
That makes it responsible for more premature deaths than drink-driving and workplace accidents combined.
The gas, which is invisible and odourless, is formed by the radioactive decay of the small amounts of uranium which occur naturally in all rocks and soils.
The dust is trapped in our airways and emits radiation that damages the inside of our lungs.
This damage, like the damage caused by smoking, increases our risk of lung cancer.
Radon levels are generally safe outside but can build indoors to levels deemed a risk to health.
MORE HEALTH NEWS FROM LEICESTERSHIRE
The picture in Leicestershire
A Government-produced map reveals radon is particularly prevalent in areas on the eastern edge of Leicestershire.
There are also small pockets of radon found on the north-western and eastern edge of Leicester, in and around Humberstone, and Bradgate Park.
Public Health England claims the level is so high in some homes the risk to health is far greater than working in a nuclear powerplant.
The eastern edge of the county is the worst for radon
In the below map, the dark areas represent areas where homes and other buildings may see high levels of radon.
However not all buildings in dark areas will necessarily have high levels.
You can search your postcode online to see where your radon levels stand.
The amount of radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre of air (Bq m).
Leicester is fairly radon-free - but there are areas on the city edge that are higher risk
The average level in UK homes is 20 Bq m.
For levels below 100 Bq m, your individual risk remains relatively low and not a cause for concern. However, the risk increases as the radon level increases.
Radon Protection UK specialises in reducing harmful levels of radon gas in buildings. Specialists in Radon Mitigation systems in domestic properties. Call 0800 978 8435 for radon testing and advice.