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Home energy efficiency and radon: an observational study

Symonds, P; Rees, D; Daraktchieva, Z; McColl, N; Bradley, J; Hamilton, I; Davies, M; (2019) Home energy efficiency and radon: an observational study. Indoor Air 10.1111/ina.12575. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer world-wide behind smoking. Changing the energy characteristics of a dwelling can influence both its thermal and ventilative properties, which can affect indoor air quality. This study uses radon measurements made in 470,689 UK homes between 1980 and 2015, linked to dwelling information contained within the Home Energy Efficiency Database (HEED). The linked dataset, the largest of its kind, was used to analyse the association of housing and energy performance characteristics with indoor radon concentrations in the UK. The findings show that energy efficiency measures that increase the air tightness of properties are observed to have an adverse association with indoor radon levels. Homes with double glazing installed had radon measurements with a significantly higher geometric mean, 67% (95% CI: 44, 89) greater than those without a recorded fabric retrofit. Those with loft insulation (47%, 95% CI: 26, 69), and wall insulation (32%, 95% CI: 11, 53) were also found to have higher radon readings. Improving the energy performance of the UK's housing stock is vital in meeting carbon emission reduction targets. However, compromising indoor air quality must be avoided through careful assessment and implementation practices. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Home energy efficiency and radon: an observational study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ina.12575
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.12575
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Indoor air quality, big UK dataset, home energy efficiency, longitudinal study, radon, ventilation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075450
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