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Recent survey by Airthings reveals nearly 80% of Brits unaware of radon gas and the risk it poses to health

Airthings, November 01, 2021

Oslo, 1st November 2021: This week, from the 1st to the 7th of November, marks Radon Awareness Week in the UK with the primary goal to raise the public’s awareness and knowledge of what radon is and the risks it presents to our health. 

A recent survey of 2000 respondents conducted in October 2021 by indoor air quality experts, Airthings, revealed the extent of the lack of awareness of radon and the risks it poses to health. Nearly 80% [78.1%] of Brits do not know or are not sure about the dangers of radon in a home and only 7.5% know that radon exposure can lead to lung cancer. Despite causing 20,000 radon-related lung cancer deaths across Europe, only 7.5% of homeowners in the UK are concerned about the presence of radon gas at home.

According to the UK Health Security Agency exposure to Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for at least 1100 deaths in the UK every year; more than three times the number of deaths attributed annually to house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning combined. High levels of radon can be found in buildings of any type, size or location with occupants unaware of the potential danger unless it is being monitored. 

Wales and the South-West of England are especially at risk of being exposed to high levels of radon, according to a radiation map released by Public Health England. Other parts of the country most likely to be exposed include Cumbria, Newcastle, and Northumberland, whilst areas in Scotland and Northern Ireland are also under threat. Similarly, the Cotswolds was recently dubbed a radon hotspot.

Radon typically enters a building because the air pressure within a building is usually lower than the pressure in the soil and rocks around the building’s foundation. Radon enters through a process referred to as advection. This is where the gas moves from a point of higher pressure (the ground, soil and rocks) to a point of lower pressure (the building). The difference in pressure causes the building to act as a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings. It is at this point that the radon becomes trapped within the building and where the levels can start to build up.

The only way to know whether elevated levels of radon are present is to use a device which monitors radon levels in a property for a period of time. In the past, single-use charcoal or film canister test kits were used to provide a short-term radon measurement (days) and required being sent to a lab for analysis where a charge would apply. This was problematic as radon levels fluctuate significantly over time.

Airthing’s monitors track radon levels over time providing historical data and insights. Airthings’ flagship product View Plus also monitors particulate matter (PM), as well carbon dioxide (CO₂), VOC’s, temperature, humidity and air pressure and has a customisable 2.9” inch display for easy visualisation. View Plus is designed for any home or indoor living space, making for a convenient way to transform indoor air quality from an invisible threat to a visible, understandable, and controllable aspect of your life. 

“We are the market leader in radon and indoor air quality solutions around the world. It is evident from the survey findings that in the UK there is very little awareness of the dangers radon gas exposure has to our health and Airthings is on a mission to change that,” said Oyvind Birkenes, CEO of Airthings. “We’re eager to empower people with awareness and understanding of the most dangerous indoor air pollutants and to offer devices which provide an easy solution for people to monitor them in any populated space, either at work, school, or at home.”

The Airthings View Plus is available for pre-order from Airthings for £259

High resolution images are available HERE

To find more information on radon, indoor air pollutants and why long-term monitoring is important, visit Airthings website at www.airthings.com.

About Airthings

Airthings is a global technology company and producer of award-winning radon and indoor air quality monitors for homeowners, businesses, and professionals. Founded in 2008, Airthings is on a mission to ensure that people around the world recognize the impact of indoor air quality and take control of their health through simple, affordable, and accurate technology solutions while optimizing energy consumption in buildings. Airthings’ products have made radon detection and indoor air quality monitoring easy to deploy, accurate, and user friendly, and have received several accolades including the TIME's Best Inventions of 2019 award and CES Innovation Award Honors in 2019 and 2021. Headquartered in the heart of Oslo, and with offices in the US, Canada, and Sweden the company has over 140 employees from more than 30 nationalities—and counting. To find an expanded assortment of Airthings smart indoor air quality monitors and radon detectors or to learn more about the importance of continuous air quality monitoring, please visit airthings.com.

Media Contact:

Lauren Pedersen
CMO | Airthings
press@airthings.com

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