Minister Denis Naughten announces new Radon Testing for homes in high risk areas

In Families, Health, News by Denis Naughten

Local Minister Denis Naughten has announced that approximately 1,400 homes in the West and Mid-West of the country will be tested for radon levels and from today (30th April) those householders will be contacted by the Environmental Protection Agency inviting them to take part in the test.

Minister Naughten is providing €70,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to undertake the radon test in high risk areas in East Galway and Roscommon.

“The EPA will begin writing to householders today inviting them to take part. The comprehensive Radon Testing and Remediation Survey, will help inform the design of a new financial incentive scheme, which may be provided for in future legislation,” stated Minister Naughten.

The Radon Testing and Remediation Survey will assess the degree of uptake of radon testing and remediation in homes in high radon areas and adjacent lower risk areas.

“We have a particular problem in the Mid-West and West of the country with radon gas. The difficulty with radon gas is that it is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which originates from the decay of uranium in rocks and soils and is colourless, odourless and tasteless. People do not know that there is a build-up of radon in their homes. After smoking, it is the next biggest cause of lung cancer in this country and responsible for approximately five cases of lung cancer in Ireland every single week,” added Minister Naughten.

The study has three main aims confirmed the Minister:

  • to establish if offering financial assistance with remediation in the event of a high indoor radon measurement increases the willingness of homeowners to test for radon;
  • to estimate the proportion of homeowners who would avail of assistance to remediate in the event of a high test, and consequently, to provide an estimate of the cost of providing such a remediation grant; and
  • to establish if either of items 1 or 2 above depend on whether the homeowner is in an already defined high radon area.

“If you receive this letter I would really encourage you to accept the invitation to test.  Householders will be invited to carry out a free radon test in their home and to complete a short questionnaire.  The radon tests will begin in June and results will be back by September.  If high radon levels are found, the householder will be offered a grant of 50% towards the cost of remediation work,” concluded Minister Naughten.

For further information contact the EPA on radon@epa.ie or 1800 300 600.

Ends.