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Radon Warning

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3:44pm 10th January 2012
(Updated 3:44pm 10th January 2012)

Thousands of Cornish homeowners get a radon warning.

Experts have done tests in Carrick.

They reckons levels of the cancer causing gas are seven times higher than average.

Now 17,000 locals are being offered free checks on their houses.

Neil McColl, head of radon at the Health Protection Agency said :

“Families in Cornwall have long been familiar with radon and its health risks”

“Over the years much has been done to reduce radon exposure in Cornwall. But there is still much to do. In the past year or two we have found many more houses across the county with very high readings.

“This tells us that there are still many more homes in the Carrick area with the potential for very high radon exposure – which is important to consider as radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer.

“That’s why it is so important for those we contact to take up this offer. Each home has its own radon level that you can only tell by testing.”

A home radon test involves placing two plastic detectors, about the size of a biscuit, in key positions around the home.

After three months the detectors are posted to the HPA where they are analysed and the radon level is calculated.

If levels are high the HPA will recommend action to reduce levels and will invite householders to local advice sessions.

Lee Wagland, an officer from the Cornwall Council Environmental Health Service, said:

“Reducing the risks posed by radon can be easily done. Protecting your homes, if you have high levels, can be a relatively straight forward process and some of this can even be undertaken by anyone with practical DIY experience.”

Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health, at Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust, said:

“High readings of radon in homes across Cornwall are rare – but they do still happen. What that tells us is that there could be many more people across the county who remain at risk from exposure to this gas. That’s why this HPA work is so important – testing really could help protect you and your family from the dangers of radon exposure.

“It’s especially important for smokers, or recent ex-smokers to test for radon. This is because radon presents a significantly bigger heath risk to these groups. If you are a smoker or an ex-smoker and you get the offer of a free radon test, we strongly urge you to take up the offer.”

For more information about radon visit http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/Radiation/UnderstandingRadiation/UnderstandingRadiationTopics/Radon/ or www.ukradon.org.

3:44pm 10th January 2012

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