What is radon?
Radongass is an invisible and odorless noble gas that is formed by the decay of the element radium. Radium is found in most rocks, mostly in uranium rich granite and alum shale. By spontaneous decay of radioactive radon so-called radondaughters are formed. These adhere to the lung tissue and emit radiation. High radonlevels indoor is a contributing factor to an increased risk for lung cancer.
Why is radon found in houses?
Radongas has a minor ability to bind to other chemical compounds, therefore it can easily penetrate into buildings together with groundair, through cracks in the foundation. The level of radon in groundair can be very high. Groundair seeps into buildings because indoor airpressure is often lower than in the ground.
Do I live in a radonhome?
The only way to find this out is to measure. Track-etch detectors is the most economical way to measure radonconcentration. Radonmålinger with track-etch should occur during the winter months over a period of at least two months. The results from a track-etch measurement gives an estimated mean radon level during the timeperiod. Electronic detectors are used to measure radon continuously over shorter timeperiods. Read more ...
How does radon affect my health?
Inhalation of air with a lot of radongas has been proven to be a health hazard. Radongas and its daughter products arising from radioactive decay emit radiation. The most dangerous type of radiation in this context are the so-called alfa beams. These rays can damage cells in lung tissue, which can lead to the transformation of healthy cells into cancer cells.
The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Only smoking represents a greater health risk in terms of lung cancer. Out of approximately 1,800 new cases of lung cancer in Norway, between 100 and 300 of these occur due to radongas present in air indoors.The risk increases with radonlevels and time spent inside. If you, for example, live in a house with a radonconcentration of 1000 Bq/m³, the risk for lung cancer will be the same as that of an average smoker. A new study that combines the results of several earlier epidemiological studies found significant health risk right down to radonlevels of 150 Bq/m³.
Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) recommends that radonlevels be kept as low as possible in all buildings, and that measures should always be taken when radonlevels in one or more living area exceed 100 Bq/m3. Radiation Protection Authority also states that levels less than 100 Bq/m3 might call for action, in cases when simple measures could bring radonlevels substantially lower. Furthermore, NRPA recommends that radonlevels shall be lower than a maximum of 200 Bq/m3. NRPA suggests that buildings, workplaces, schools, daycare centers, commercial buildings and rental housing should be required to maintain reasonable radonlevels through regulations. It is estimated that up to 175 000 norwegian homes have radon readings exceeding 200 Bq/m³.
Husbanken's grant scheme
Norwegian Husbanken has unfortunately not received appropriations for grants intended for radonmeasures since the year 2003.