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Invisible Radioactive Gas Floods Family Homes

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7:00am 14th September 2012

Pirate FM has learnt some Cornish families are living in homes five times over safety levels of a potentially deadly gas.

The Health Protection Agency said more than a hundred and sixty Duchy households had too much radon.

It has been testing thousands of properties in the former Caradon, Carrick and Restormel areas for the radioactive gas.

Dave Upton from Budock Water was stunned when his house tested thirty times higher than normal. He said: "The levels that we had here we actually higher than people were subjected to in the low level waste at Sellafield. I went from a point of not taking it terribly seriously to one where I really felt there were significant health risks there.

"We knew that radon existed but frankly didn't take it terribly seriously. The more I read the more concerned I became so, as a consequence, we did quite a lot of work on the property and consequently brought the levels down."

Radon increases the risk of developing lung cancer, particularly among smokers or ex-smokers. It is thought the gas leads to around 1,000 lung cancer deaths in the UK each year.

Jane Bradley is a Team Leader on Radon programmes at the HPA. She said: "Radon is a radioactive gas, you can't see it, you can't smell it. It can cause a slighter higher instance of lung cancer if you're exposed to it over a long period of time, and our objective is to try and get people who have got the higher levels to actually come along, get some information.

"People shouldn't be worried. It is a naturally occuring gas and we're aware that the gas itself has been around for a long time, but what they should do is act and come along and get the information from us."

7:00am 14th September 2012

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