Radon is a radioactive gas linked to 300 lung cancer cases each year in Ireland – the second largest cause after smoking - with one-third of the country classified as a high radon area by the EPA.
The home with the highest level tested in 2020 had over 22 times the acceptable level – a radiation dose equivalent to 15 chest X-rays a day.
Radon gas seeps into home through small cracks and gaps in foundations or openings around service pipes. As it has no colour, taste or smell and can only be detected through a radon test.
The Government published a National Radon Control Strategy (NRCS) in 2014, followed by a second five-year phase that launched in 2019, with a focus on prevention and awareness through testing.
It costs around €50 for a test kit and a fan-assisted ‘sump’, which can cost up to €1,500, can be installed in a day by a contractor to reduce radon levels by over 90 per cent. There is, however, no grant available to cover the cost of the test or installing this sump.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to examine if enough resources are available to tackle the silent killer and find out if authorities have given any consideration to providing financial support for radon remediation works.
We want to assess the impact of the National Radon Control Strategy since its launch in 2014 and track progress achieved through to date. We will use Freedom of Information to gain an insight into the working of the multi-agency group overseeing the strategy and how well they are performing to date.
We also want to speak to families directly impacted by the gas and health experts about the potential future impact of radon as working from home looks set to become the new norm post-Covid.
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