Homes to be monitored for radioactive gas
Powys County Council will undertake a monitoring and remediation programme after it was found more than 5,000 properties could have a level of the radioactive gas Radon.
The gas is the second largest cause of lung cancer in the UK, and figures from Public Health England in 2017 found that more than 5,000 properties in Powys could contain levels of it.
More than 200 homes in Montgomeryshire were found to have a 10 to 30 per cent probability of having the gas, with 484 in total across Powys.
In total, 5,374 homes in the region were found to have a probability of between less than one per cent and 30 per cent.
A report that went before the council’s cabinet on Tuesday proposed to implement a three phase monitoring programme over an eight year period in all council owned properties identified in Public Health England’s postcode search with a likelihood of five per cent or greater.
It is proposed a nine month monitoring period will take place on 50 to 75 properties on one or two estates from the highest probability category. A further two year programme would then monitor the remaining properties in the 10 per cent to 30 per cent category, approximately 425 properties.
Over a five year programme the council would monitor all properties in the five to 10 per cent category, which is around 1,2000 properties. Remedial measures will be used such as fans and radon sumps where high levels are identified and once works are complete, follow up monitoring will be required to see if works have impacted on radon levels.
The cabinet agreed that provision needed to be made in authority’s housing revenue account for the cost of the programme, remedial works, a maintenance programme and for additional staff to manage the programmes.
The report from Councillor James Evans said: “Once the proposed project has been completed, expanding the programme further could be considered at a later date.”
He added that identifying and mitigating radon levels in the council’s housing stock is essential to ensure they met their duty of care under the Housing Act 2004.