§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on levels of radon gas in the Aberdeen area.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
Measurements of radon gas levels in homes in the Grampian region have been carried out by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). The average value found in a representative sample is 16 Bq m-3 (becquerel per cubic metre of air). In Aberdeen city and in parts of Kincardine and Deeside district, additional measurements were made. The average for Aberdeen city is 18 Bq m-3 and the average for Kincardine and Deeside is 105 Bq m-3. These values are to be compared with the average for the whole of the United Kingdom of about 20 Bq m-3. The NRPB estimates that between 0.3 per cent. and 1.0 per cent. of homes in the Grampian region will exceed the new action level of 200 Bq m-3 advised by the NRPB.
The NRPB, on behalf of the Scottish Office, is carrying out further measurements in those areas where high levels have been discovered. These measurements are expected to be completed by the end of the year. In the meantime, the Government will continue to offer free radon measurements by the NRPB, available on demand to any householder in an area with potential for high radon levels. Also, grants continue to be available, through the present improvement grant system for any remedial action which may be necessary.