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Chief Medical Officer highlights radon as an indoor air pollution concern in annual report

Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer issued his annual report in December 2022, and focused on air pollution.

Prof. Whitty praised the “great progress” that has been made to reduce outdoor air pollution in England,  and stated that “tackling indoor air pollution should now also be a priority”.

The report, which can be downloaded in full here, lists 13 different categories of pollutants and their health effects. As well as those commonly discussed, such as VOCs, carbon monoxide and asbestos, radon gas also features on the list.

The report states that “There is an increased risk of lung cancer if exposed to high levels of radon for a long time, and it is the second highest cause of lung cancer after smoking.”

It continues, “It is generally not a problem in the outside air, but it can accumulate in buildings.”

The report also confirms that “More than 1,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year in the UK due to exposure to radon gas at home”.

Charles Edwards, Managing Director at propertECO says, “Prof. Whitty’s report is very welcome news, as it raises the profile of radon and will bring it to the attention of the wider public. Thanks to COVID, we have all become familiar with being presented with health information and guidance from the Chief Medical Officer and I hope that 2023 will see a renewed focus from the UK Health Security Agency to promote radon awareness.”

Updated maps predicting which areas of the country are most affected by high levels of radon were published by UKHSA in December 2022. The maps are freely accessible at, where you can input your postcode and use the interactive colour-coded map to assess the likelihood of high radon levels being present in your property.

Where more than 1% of properties are estimated to be affected, homeowners are advised to carry out a radon test to assess the risk. The law requires employers to carry out a test if their workplace premises lie in an area with 1% or greater risk, or if they have a basement. Landlords, including social housing providers, must also complete testing in any homes that lie in designated radon affected areas.

propertECO are specialists in radon testing and mitigation and work across the UK with residential and commercial clients. For more information on how to carry out a radon test in your property, drop us an email or call us on Freephone 0800 046 6193.

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