North Devon garden & Radon Gas

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North Devon garden & Radon Gas
« on: December 16, 2015, 16:13 »
Hi everyone
I am considering buying a house in North Devon where I would hope to grow my own fruit & veg.
My surveyor has reported a high level of Radon in the area,( 10 - 30% )
 If I grew fruit & veg in that area, then would I be poisoning myself with my produce ?

Many thanks



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Re: North Devon garden & Radon Gas
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 17:42 »
I'm no physicist but I think radon is more of a concern indoors than out:

and the following quote from
Is there any danger from growing fruit and vegetables in areas affected by radon?
No. Exposure from the natural radioactivity in food is much less than from radon in the home.

This all comes as something of a relief given my location  ;)

Pip pip,



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Re: North Devon garden & Radon Gas
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 20:32 »
There are certain areas where levels of radon are higher. Usually where there is sandstone or granite as the underlying rock. It is natural occurring from the rock as it breaks down and has been for many thousands of years.

In these areas there are building regulations that ensure that radon levels do not build up in buildings. Things like good ventilation under floors.

I think the risk is very low. It was probably correct of the surveyor to point out that your house is in a radon area but to quote a high level (10 - 30%) is a bit odd. 10-30 % of what? He probably includes it for all his reports and has done for years without question. I would go back and ask him what it means

Your local authority will be able to advise you.



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Re: North Devon garden & Radon Gas
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2015, 23:18 »
The level they have chosen or determined as "safe" is 200 becquerels per cubic metre - you need a meter to measure the exact amount and the level has to be measured over a period of time.

10%-30% means that there is a 10-30% chance of that level being exceeded.
A somewhat odd way of "measuring" it.

Always thought Radon came off of a granite rock layer but looking at a UK Radon Map no longer sure, there are some interesting levels at other places. I would guess that the surveyor has simply looked at the online map, you can enter the postcode of the actual location and up pops the chance of exceeding the 200 becquerels per cubic metre level. It is a by-product of Uranium decay.

Not sure if the 200 becquerels per cubic metre is an absolute measure or if it is a relative measure, as in 200 becquerels per cubic metre above the natural background level.

I think the problem can be most relevant in well sealed houses, the gas may get in (somehow) but then cannot escape and so is trapped with the possibility to build up.



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Re: North Devon garden & Radon Gas
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 07:32 »
Everything you wanted to know about Radon but were afraid to ask can be found at



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Re: North Devon garden & Radon Gas
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2015, 00:37 »
Thank you for this info. We live with a granite quarry overlooking us. went into the last link and found out that the ventilation system that our council installed a few years ago is identical to what is used to clear radon from houses. It costs £500-£1000. Asked them why they were putting it in, just said it was to keep the air clean. No mention of radon. Do not know whether to be cross or relieved.


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Re: North Devon garden & Radon Gas
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2015, 10:44 »
I think the danger from radon is in houses and cellars where the ventillation is poor and the gas cand build up rather than in the open air and food.
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