Home had 30 times safe level of radon

EPA URGES HOME­OWN­ERS TO CARRY OUT TEST

Bray People - - NEWS -

One south Wick­low home has been found to have 30 times the ac­cept­able level of radon gas – a ra­di­a­tion dose equiv­a­lent to the occupants re­ceiv­ing about 20 chest X-rays per day.

The Avoca home was among nearly 200 homes across Co Wick­low where radon tests have been car­ried out since the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) ran an aware­ness cam­paign in the county last Novem­ber.

To date, the EPA’s re­sults show that 33 homes – in­clud­ing in Ark­low, Aughrim, Avoca, Balt­in­glass, Bless­ing­ton and Rath­drum – had lev­els of the can­cer-caus­ing gas that were above the ac­cepted level.

Radon is a ra­dioac­tive gas linked to up to 250 lung can­cer cases each year in Ire­land and is the se­cond most com­mon cause of lung can­cer af­ter smok­ing. County Wick­low has one of the high­est in­ci­dences of homes with high radon lev­els in the coun­try.

Stephanie Long, a se­nior sci­en­tist at the EPA, has said that, as much of the county is cat­e­gorised as high risk, there may be many house­hold­ers un­aware that they are un­nec­es­sar­ily liv­ing with higher lev­els of this ra­dioac­tive gas.

‘ Test­ing for radon is re­ally sim­ple – one radon de­tec­tor is placed in a bed­room and a se­cond in the liv­ing room. The de­tec­tors are small and are sent and re­turned by post. In the event of a high read­ing, re­duc­ing radon lev­els is also straight­for­ward. Re­me­di­a­tion work is usu­ally com­pleted within one day where sumps are in­stalled from out­side the home so there is no need to dig up in­ter­nal floors,’ she said.

Sets of radon de­tec­tors costs about €50 and are avail­able from the EPA and other reg­is­tered test­ing ser­vices.

The cost of re­duc­ing radon in your home can vary, but the av­er­age cost of in­stalling the most ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion is about €925. The EPA pro­vides a list of reg­is­tered re­me­di­a­tors.

De­tailed in­for­ma­tion on radon, its risks, how to get a home or work­place tested and lists of reg­is­tered test­ing and re­me­di­at­ing ser­vices is avail­able on www.radon.ie or by call­ing 1800 300600.

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