Radon is a colourless, odourless radioactive gas. It’s formed by the radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils.
The main danger from high radon exposure is the increased risk of lung cancer. For most people, radon is the single largest source of radiation exposure whether they are at home or at work.
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.
Radon increases your risk of lung cancer
The higher the radon, the longer the exposure, the greater the risk
Radon causes over 1,100 deaths from lung cancer each year in the UK
The risk from radon is higher if the person is an ex-smoker and significantly greater for current smokers.
The explanation: Radon produces a radioactive dust in the air we breathe. 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.
How can I reduce my risk?
Find out if you live in a radon risk area
If you do, measure your home
If the radon is high, reduce it
If you smoke, do your best to give up
What is the evidence? A European study, funded by Cancer Research UK and the European Commission showed that radon in the home increases the risk of lung cancer1. An independent report, Radon and Public Health estimated that radon is a cause in over 1,100 lung cancer deaths each year in the UK.
Any radiation exposure carries a risk: the higher the exposure the higher the risk.
Risks other than lung cancer: It is mainly our lungs that are exposed to and damaged by radon. There is no consistent evidence that radon causes cancers elsewhere, or other harm.
If you have concerns about radon gas exposure, please call us on 0800 978 8435.