HC Deb 02 March 1984 vol 55 c368W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what measures he proposes should be taken for the reduction of radon gas in homes where concentration is relatively high.

Sir George Young

The Royal Commission on environmental pollution in its tenth report published on 22 February (Cmnd. 9149) has recommended that priority should be given to devising effective remedial measures for those existing houses where the annual effective dose equivalent exceeds 25 milli-sievert. It is also inclined to favour a limit of 5 milli-sievert for new dwellings.

We are still considering the implications of these recommendations and will also wish to take into account a forthcoming report of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. However, we agree that priority should be given to devising remedial measures for existing houses where concentrations are relatively high. The Building Research Establishment and the National Radiological Protection Board are already undertaking research into this. In addition the board is undertaking research to enable better identification of areas and houses at risk. It is however clear that only a very small minority of existing houses are affected, these being normally confined to certain areas where there is a significant amount of natural uranium in the ground. The simplest step which can be taken to reduce radon concentrations is to increase ventilation though this can of course create disadvantages in other respects.