The Health Protection Agency has recently produced new and more accurate maps identifying the probable Radon affected areas in Scotland.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which seeps up from the ground and is the second largest cause of lung cancer in the UK. Functional Standard 3.2 tackles this potential health risk by requiring that “every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that there will not be a threat to the health of people in or around the building due to the emission and containment of radon gas”. The guidance contained within the Technical Handbooks makes reference to radon maps available on the HPA website, which can be accessed via the 'Related Links' section of this page.
The guidance contained within Section 3.2 of the Technical Handbooks currently makes reference to the superseded 2009 maps and this will be updated when the handbooks are next revised in October this year. However, there is an immediate need to ensure that designers and Local Authority Verifiers have the most up to date radon probability information when designing, or assessing buildings under the Building Standards system.
Note: Revised or amended guidance normally applies only to Building Warrant applications submitted on or after the date the revised guidance becomes operational and this is the case with the new radon maps. However, consideration should be given to providing or increasing radon protection where:
when the new or extended building is now within a radon area when previously it was not or the probability of radon exposure has increased.
A copy of the most recent Radon Map can be found in the 'Related Downloads' section of this page. This clearly identifies the probable Radon affected areas in Orkney. Large areas including Kirkwall, Stromness, and many of the North and South Isles previously outwith the affected areas are now included.