Radon gas risk

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

SOME ar­eas within counties Dublin, Meath, Kil­dare, Wick­low, Wex­ford, Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry, Lim­er­ick, Clare and Gal­way are a radon gas risk, ac­cord­ing to a new as­sess­ment. Radon gas can leave a res­i­dent at risk of lung can­cer. Around 280 of the ap­prox­i­mately 2,300 lung can­cer cases in Ire­land per year are re­lated to in­door radon ex­po­sure, ac­cord­ing to Trin­ity Col­lege Dublin.

A new as­sess­ment us­ing 32,000 res­i­den­tial radon mea­sure­ments through­out Ire­land points to spe­cific radon pri­or­ity ar­eas.

Radon is a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring ra­dioac­tive gas, which does not have any taste, odour or colour.

It can only be de­tected us­ing spe­cialised equip­ment. Radon es­capes from the ground and dis­si­pates to the at­mos­phere where it is di­luted to very low con­cen­tra­tions, or it may ac­cu­mu­late to higher con­cen­tra­tions in en­closed spa­ces.

In­door radon lev­els vary from house to house de­pend­ing on lo­ca­tion, con­struc­tion type and us­age.

Radon is the prin­ci­pal source of ion­is­ing ra­di­a­tion ex­po­sure, rep­re­sent­ing over 56pc of the over­all dose re­ceived by the Ir­ish pop­u­la­tion, and ex­po­sure to radon in­creases the like­li­hood of de­vel­op­ing lung can­cer.

Glob­ally, radon ex­po­sure is the se­cond high­est cause of lung can­cer af­ter smok­ing.

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