RADIOACTIVE gas which can be dangerous in Slough has been detected in parts of Reading.
An interactive map has revealed hotspots of the colourless, odourless and tasteless radioactive gas.
Radon is a radioactive gas that undetectable unless you have specialist equipment.
It is formed from uranium in rocks and soil and can make its way into buildings built on top of this land.
Public Health England (PHE) state that every building contains radon but the levels are usually low.
It only poses a risk to health when found in large quantities and after long-term exposure.
Why is it a risk?
The Public Health England website states that radon causes over 1,100 deaths from lung cancer each year in the UK.
Anything radioactive has potential to cause damage to our health, especially in large quantities.
Radiation is a form of energy and can cause damage in living tissues increasing the risk of cancer.
According to Public Health England, Radon can increase your risk of lung cancer- with this risk increasing with higher radon levels and longer exposure times.
The risk from radon is higher if the person is an ex-smoker and significantly greater for current smokers.
Slough areas with the highest radon affected areas
Public Health England defines radon affected areas as those with 1% chance or more of a house having a radon concentration at or above the Action Level of 200 Bq m-3.
They have created an interactive map detailing where high levels of radon are more likely and the estimated percentage of homes in an area which are above the radon Action Level.
PHE said: “The darker the colour the greater the chance of a higher level.
“The chance is less than one home in a hundred in the white areas and greater than one in three in the darkest areas.”
Some Slough areas are in a band of “elevated radon potential” of 1-3 per cent which is classed as ‘medium’ risk.
While some areas of Windsor are also in a medium risk category- the majority of areas are in the 1-3 per cent which includes Eton and the centre of town.
How to reduce 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, give up
How can I carry out a test of my home?
Public Health England offer Home Measurement Packs to check the levels over a three-month period.
They can be purchased at the following website: https://www.ukradon.org/services/orderdomestic
To check if your area has a high risk of Radon, use the map here: https://www.ukradon.org/information/ukmaps.