Radon Gas: Should I be worried?
Posted on 13th February 2020
Radon gas is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas which is found in all buildings. However, it is usually at low levels and not a cause for concern. Radon is formed within the natural uranium element within the ground. When such elements break down, energy is released which emits radiation that can be harmful. Radiation is a risk to our health and can result in increased risks of cancer.
Throughout our lives, we are all likely to be exposed to some forms of radiation, however, different types of radiation and different levels of exposure will affect how harmful the same are.
One particular form comes from radon gas, only becoming an issue when levels are above the recommended action level. This would be a matter detailed within your environmental search results and picked up by your conveyancing solicitor. As you can see, this only helps to highlight the importance of your conveyancing searches. See our blog on searches, and the standing they may have over your conveyancing transaction, here.
A radon affected area is declared when the estimated percentage of dwellings with high levels of radon exceed 1%. In such event, a risk is outlined and your conveyancing solicitor would be advising you of this. If a risk in respect of radon has been noted on the property you intend to purchase, there are a number of options you have:
1. Make enquiries of the seller: Your conveyancing solicitor can raise the necessary enquiries in respect of radon gas, by asking the seller’s solicitor whether the seller has ever had a radon test carried out at the property and, if so, what the result was. Your solicitor in Lancaster may also ask whether the seller has experienced any issues in respect of radon, and whether there are any remedial measures in place in respect of radon. This can provide you with further information in order to make an informed decision on how you wish to proceed with the purchase.
2. Have a radon test carried out: As the search results only deliberate on a particular area, although a risk may be highlighted, this is not to say that the individual property you intend to purchase is affected. Having a test carried out at the property would, therefore, provide further clarity in this respect. This can be arranged via the Health Protection Agency and would be undertaken over a period of three months to form an accurate conclusion. This would, evidently, delay matters, however, would provide you with better knowledge about the property and the risk of radon it may come with.
3. Refer to your Valuation: In some cases, radon can also be picked up on within your survey results which would, again, allow for further evidence to be obtained in terms of the level of risk posed.
4. Remedial Measures: If not in place already, it would be advisable to consider remedial measures at the property. There are varied options available in this regard, for example, a radon barrier may be put in place which would attempt to prevent the gas rising into the property and being a risk to your health. Such measures would, of course, attract additional fees, however, this should be considered against the level of risk revealed and the need for such measures to be incepted.
As you can see, radon gas can have detrimental impacts to you and your home, however, there are options available for you. If you are purchasing a property, and have any queries, contact our team of solicitors in Lancaster today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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