New radon map of Scotland

Overall map of radon potential in Scotland (Crown copyright)

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the British Geological Survey have produced a new radon map of Scotland using the latest digital mapping techniques.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that seeps up from the ground and is the second largest cause of lung cancer in the UK.

In 2009 the HPA produced a radon map of Scotland, charting areas most likely to be affected by the gas, based on measurements in homes. Since then HPA staff have worked closely with the British Geological Survey to produce a more accurate map.

The new technique has led HPA scientists to estimate that between 2000 and 5000 homes in Scotland could have radon concentrations above the radon action level where work would be recommended to protect occupants - a rise on the numbers predicted in the 2009 map.

A new free Indicative Atlas of Radon in Scotland report has also been published that shows the highest radon potential in each 1-kilometre grid square of Scotland. However, the Radon Potential Dataset, which defines radon affected areas in Scotland, includes much more detail than shown in the atlas and is available under licence from the BGS.

Information for individual dwellings and sites can be obtained from the UKRadon and the BGS GeoReports service.

The data is also being incorporated into the reports of BGS external partners in the property related environmental information and digital mapping industry. Please contact the BGS Enquiries for more information.


22 July 2011