UKRA Launches ‘Don’t Delay’ Campaign During UK Radon Awareness Week 2021

During UK Radon Awareness Week (1st – 7th Nov), experts from the UK Radon Association are highlighting the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on lung cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment times and urging members of the public not to delay taking steps to protect their lungs.  
  • A UK Lung Cancer Coalition report suggests that lung cancer is one of the worst affected cancer pathways due to a combination of factors, including overlapping symptoms with COVID-19 and specific pressures on respiratory health-care services caused by the pandemic. (Source)
  • According to an article published in the British Journal of Cancer, the pandemic is having profound effects on both diagnosis and treatment strategies
  • Don’t Delay campaign urges public to test homes for radon, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and to see their GP if they develop lung cancer symptoms
  • Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and is responsible for over 1100 deaths in the UK every year. (Source)
“During the first wave of the pandemic, public fear of engaging with health services, halting of the national programme of lung cancer screening pilots, and restricted access to diagnostic tests contributed to a 75% drop in urgent lung cancer referrals,” said Robert Rintoul, Chair of the UK Lung Cancer Coalition Clinical Advisory Group (Source). “Guidance to stay at home with a cough, a key symptom of lung cancer, also caused further confusion among the general public. As a result of the reduction in referrals we are now seeing an increase in late-stage presentations which will potentially lead to hundreds of additional deaths, reversing the significant progress that has been achieved in improving lung cancer survival over the last 10–15 years.” In August 2021, the NHS launched its ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign with the aim of persuading people exhibiting possible lung cancer symptoms to contact their GP. To further enhance this message, the UK Radon Association is today launching its Don’t Delay campaign. Rebecca Coates, Chair of UK Radon Association said, “Lung cancer is often still thought of as a smoker’s disease, however sadly rates in non-smokers are increasing. Lung cancer is not the immediate thought for a non-smoker with a persistent cough, even less so whilst COVID-19 is a possible cause. That’s why we’ve launched the Don’t Delay campaign to raise awareness not only of the need to visit your GP if you have symptoms, but also that everyone should consider testing their home for radon to protect their lungs.”
  Radon is a radioactive gas we can’t see, smell or taste. It comes from the rocks and soil found everywhere in the UK and can enter your building without you knowing. The only way to know if a building has a high radon level is to have it tested, which costs about £50. According to the UK Health Security Agency, radon produces tiny radioactive particles in the air we breathe which damages our lung tissue and, over a long period, may cause lung cancer. The higher the level and the longer the period of exposure, the greater the risk. At the recent UK Radon Symposium, keynote speaker Dr Aaron Goodarzi, Canada Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease drew attention to findings that previous lung disease, including pneumonia, bronchitis and COPD, leads to an increased risk of an individual developing lung cancer in the future (Source). Dr Goodarzi warned that the number of patients suffering with so-called ‘Long Covid’ globally will have widespread ramifications on lung cancer rates.

Registrations Open for the FREE UK Radon Symposium 2021

The UK Radon Association is delighted to announce the date for the next Symposium, 21st October 2021.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty over travel and event restrictions, this year’s Symposium will be an online, virtual event.

We will bring the same quality of expert speakers and content as previous years, but direct to your desk. You will also get to hear from our event sponsors during the half-day event.

This event is FREE to attend but you must register in advance – please visit www.ukradonsymposium.com to book your space.

Register Now for Free Radon Awareness Week Webinars

Radon Awareness Week is running from 2nd – 8th November 2020 and to mark this, the UK Radon Association are hosting a series of short (30 minute) webinars. These are all free to attend and will include a live question and answer section.

Monday 2nd November at 10.00am: 5 Things You Need To Know About Radon Gas

Tuesday 3rd November at 10:00am: Radon in the Workplace: Are You Compliant?

Thursday 5th November at 10.00am: Buying or Selling Property in A Radon Affected Area: Everything You Need To Know?

Friday 6th November at 10.00am: Protecting New Buildings from Radon: Getting It Right First Time

UKRA Welcomes New Chair, Rebecca Coates

At the UK Radon Association’s recent AGM, Lynn Cooper stepped down as Chair after a term of two years and Rebecca Coates was elected to replace her by the Association’s members.

Rebecca, who is also Head of Radon Projects at propertECO was a founding member of the Association in 2014 and has sat on the Board since then, serving as Secretary for the initial four years. She has been a driving force behind the annual Radon Awareness Week campaigns and is passionate about increasing public awareness and understanding of radon gas.

Rebecca Coates, Chair

Rebecca said, “I am looking forward to building on the excellent work that has been carried out by the Association over the past few years under the leadership of our outgoing Chair, Lynn Cooper. Many thanks to Lynn for giving her time to help UKRA grow, both in membership numbers and profile. Along with the Vice Chair, Aaron Davidson and Secretary Charlotte Holmes, I will be working hard over the coming year to ensure UKRA provides essential information on radon to the general public, property professionals and the medical community.”

“Following on from the well attended UK Radon Symposium in 2019, we will be holding another Symposium in summer 2021 and will announce further details in due course.

2019 also saw our most successful UK Radon Awareness Week yet, with the issue being discussed live on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show with campaign ambassador, Martin Roberts. This year’s Awareness Week will take place from Monday 2nd November and we will be encouraging all UKRA members to join us in spreading the message that radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer.”

Radon Awareness Week 2019: Chairman’s Review

Radon Awareness Week has been a huge success this year, with so much coverage that we actually caused the PHE radon map website to crash due to the increased traffic. Our own website also achieved unprecedented hits, demonstrating the number of people we reached and encouraged to act with our message. Our campaign Ambassador Martin Roberts was interviewed on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, and UK Radon Association board member Rebecca Coates appeared on BBC Radio Cumbria and BBC Radio Stoke, as well as presenting at PHE’s Radon Forum in Chilton.

It was also great to see so many of our members participating by sharing numerous blogs, infographics and posts on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The focus of this year’s campaign was research published earlier this year which found that indoor radon levels are increasing due to the changes we are making to our buildings for energy efficiency purposes. This in turn will lead to an increase in the number of lung cancer deaths attributable to radon exposure.

We hope that by raising awareness we can help reduce the number of unnecessary deaths due to radon related lung cancer.

On behalf of the UK Radon Association I would like to thank all those who have supported the campaign.

The UK Radon Association board meets in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to discussing how we will build on this success in 2020 and spread awareness of this important issue even further.

Lynn Cooper

Chair

UK Radon Association

Radon Awareness Week 2019 Gets Underway

UK Radon Awareness Week 2019 begins today, 4th November.

Research published earlier this year has found that indoor radon levels are increasing due to the changes we are making to our buildings for energy efficiency purposes. This in turn will lead to an increase in the number of lung cancer deaths attributable to radon exposure.

Martin Roberts TV & Radio Property Expert and Ambassador of Radon Awareness Week

The campaign is being backed by TV & Radio property expert, Martin Roberts, who says “The lack of awareness about radon and its health dangers is shocking – and it’s something that could be in any of our homes.” You can hear more from Martin on Tuesday 5th November when he’ll be appearing on BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show at around 1pm.

Follow the campaign on social media all week using #radonaware