An interactive map shows the hotspots of a radioactive gas which is colourless, odourless and tasteless.

Radon is a radioactive gas that undetectable unless you have specialist equipment.

It is formed from uranium in rocks and soil and can make its way into buildings built on top of this land.

Public Health England (PHE) state that every building contains radon but the levels are usually low.

It only poses a risk to health when found in large quantities and after long-term exposure.

Why is it a risk?

The Public Health England website states that radon causes over 1,100 deaths from lung cancer each year in the UK.

Anything radioactive has potential to cause damage to our health, especially in large quantities.

Radiation is a form of energy and can cause damage in living tissues increasing the risk of cancer.

According to Public Health England, Radon can increase your risk of lung cancer- with this risk increasing with higher radon levels and longer exposure times.

The risk from radon is higher if the person is an ex-smoker and significantly greater for current smokers.

Greater Manchester areas with the highest radon affected areas

Public Health England defines radon affected areas as those with 1% chance or more of a house having a radon concentration at or above the Action Level of 200 Bq m-3.

The Bolton News: Radon levels in Greater Manchester Credit: Radon.OrgRadon levels in Greater Manchester Credit: Radon.Org

They have created an interactive map detailing where high levels of radon are more likely and the estimated percentage of homes in an area which are above the radon Action Level.

The chances of a higher level of radon depend on the type of ground.

If you are in a 'high risk' area, it doesn't necessarily mean that your house has excessively high radon levels- but you can order a measurement pack to check. 

PHE said: “The darker the colour the greater the chance of a higher level.

“The chance is less than one home in a hundred in the white areas and greater than one in three in the darkest areas.”

Many areas of Bolton are in an band of “elevated radon potential” of 1-3 per cent which is classed as a ‘medium’ risk.

The Bolton News: Radon levels in BoltonRadon levels in Bolton

Other areas in the Bolton district are also classed as areas of elevated radon potential with Horwich and Farnworth areas also sitting in the 1-3 per cent radon potential area.

In Oldham, the maximum radon potential is slightly higher than Bolton’s; it has a maximum radon potential is 3-5 per cent which is a medium risk.

The Bolton News: Oldham's radon levelsOldham's radon levels

However, in the Shaw area the maximum radon potential is 1-3 per cent.

In the centre of Manchester, the maximum radon potential is actually very low (less than 1 per cent).

The Bolton News: Manchester's radon levelsManchester's radon levels

However, the further you travel out of the city the higher the radon potential risk climbs, with most outlying areas sitting at 1-3 per cent radon potential.

In the Tameside area, maximum radon potential ranges from 1 per cent to 10 per cent.

In Wigan, it’s a mixed picture. In central areas, the maximum radon potential sits at 1-3%- but in the outlying areas in Ince In Makerfield, the risk is less than one per cent.

The Bolton News: Wigan's radon potentialWigan's radon potential

It’s a similar story for Bury where central areas have low risk of radon potential maximum radon potential sitting between 1-3 per cent in outlying areas.

How to reduce risk

  • Find out if you live in a radon risk area
  • If you do, measure your home
  • If the radon is high, reduce it
  • If you smoke, give up

How can I carry out a test of my home?

Public Health England offer Home Measurement Packs to check the levels over a three-month period.

They can be purchased at the following website:

To check if your area has a high risk of Radon, use the  map here: