Detectors to be fitted at schools over radiation threat

Detectors to be fitted at schools over radiation threat

Reporter:

Paul Miles

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Detectors to be fitted at schools over radiation threat

Radiation detectors are being installed at 18 schools across Maidenhead and Windsor.

It is part of a five-year nationwide project spearheaded by Public Health England to gauge whether children are being exposed to radon, a natural gas which can escape from the ground and is more likely to build up in new energy-efficient buildings.

It is formed by the decay of uranium found in soils and rocks.

Biscuit-sized monitors will be fitted and be in place for three months.

"There are some schools in the Windsor and Maidenhead area that have radon potential," said the principle radiation protection scientist at Public Health England, Tracy Gooding.

Long-term exposure to radon, which can also be found in homes, can lead to lung cancer but she estimated the risk of the radon being found in the area at only one to three per cent.

"For this particular programme we are just concentrating on schools," she added.

"They (children) have got their whole lives ahead of them. You do not want them to be exposed to any gas.

"For most people in the area it will not be a problem at all.”

Once the three-month period has expired, the Royal Borough will inform schools of the results.

If radon is found at any of the schools, buildings work can be undertaken to prevent the gas from being trapped.

A borough spokesman said the installation of the detectors was a 'normal procedure' and confirmed it was working with Public Health England on the routine monitoring.

Visit ukradon.org for more information about monitoring radon gas at your home or business.

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