RADIOACTIVE GAS AT BANK
Basement detection ‘no danger to staff or customers’:
ABANKING giant has detected “unsafe levels” of a radioactive gas in one of its North Wales branches.
Testing was recently undertaken at the HSBC branch in Caernarfon when the high level of radon was detected.
The area with unsafe levels was in the basement and HSBC is now taking action to remedy the situation.
The bank said it was closely monitoring the situation but said it was confident there is no risk to customers or staff.
A spokeswoman said: “We have identified slightly higher than average levels of radon in our branch in Caernarfon. We are closely monitoring the situation, and plans are in the works for remediation.
“We take the safety and security of customers and staff very seriously, and are confident that there is no risk to customers or staff.”
The branch has remained open. It is not known if staff regularly access the basement area.
Our sister paper the Daily Post contacted the bank after finding a report into planned remediation works at the site.
A statement submitted to Gwynedd council planners said: “Following a recent radon testing, it has been brought to light that there are unsafe levels of radon within the basement area.
“Therefore, we are proposing to install a positive pressure system in the basement area, along with associated pipework, to allow ventilation.”
Radon is a colourless, odourless radioactive gas that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. Parts of North Wales are classed as radon ‘hotspots’ with high levels of the gas.
Every building contains radon but the levels are usually low.
Public Health Wales said the radioactive elements formed by the decay of radon can enter our lungs, where they continue to decay and emit alpha particles. These cause localised damage that can lead to lung cancer.
Radon causes over 1,100 deaths from lung cancer each year in the UK.
The HSBC branch in Castle Square, Caernarfon