Guidance

Radon: limitation of human exposure

This report (RCE-15) provides advice on the limitation of exposure of the population to radon, and its decay products, in buildings.

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Detail

This report replaces the advice published in 1990 by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), which joined the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in April 2005.

There are 5 main reasons for updating the advice on radon:

  1. radon remains the single biggest source of public radiation exposure in the UK: a significant proportion of the homes with elevated radon concentrations have been found, but many remain to be identified, and large numbers of homes with elevated concentrations have yet to be remediated
  2. the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recently issued revised advice on protection against radon, including recommendations for revised reference levels, supported by improved evidence about risks from radon exposure
  3. the independent Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation (AGIR) of the HPA has issued recommendations about radon and public health.
  4. the HPA (NRPB prior to 2005) has published radon probability maps of all parts of the UK
  5. the HPA issued advice to government on protection relating to new buildings in 2008

The advice concerns exposure of the public wherever they are, and is intended to:

  • reduce radiation exposure of the most at risk from high concentrations of radon
  • lead over time to a reduction in the average exposure of the whole population to radon