RESIDENTS concerned about being poisoned in their homes by the deadly gas radon were reassured yesterday.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) held an event to give West Oxfordshire homeowners information and advice about tackling the gas, which has been linked to lung cancer.

The agency tested 4,500 homes across West Oxfordshire and found that one in seven needs to take action. One home was 11 times over the safe level.

The event, at Langdale Hall in Langdale Gate, Witney, attracted more than 100 people and included advice on building sumps and ventilation systems and information about risks.

Sara Church, 47, of Ducklington, said: “Radon is a very scary word because it is associated with radiation and other bad things.

“We thought we should find out more about it to make sure we are as safe as we can be, and it has been very helpful. When there is a scare put out, to have things like this is very reassuring.”

Radon occurs naturally as uranium decays and is present across the UK, but high levels are linked with Cotswold stone.

The gas is estimated to be a contributing factor in more than 1,000 cases of lung cancer in the UK every year. Smokers are particularly at risk.

Jane Bradley, HPA’s radon group team leader, said: “People can come along and get all the information they need so they can make an informed choice about what to do next.”

* The HPA will hold further information sessions at the War Memorial Hall, Browns Lane, Charlbury, today (Tuesday), between 10am and 8pm; and at the Town Hall, Market Place, Chipping Norton, tomorrow and Thursday, between 10am and 8pm.