Approximately 1,400 homes in the West and Mid-West of the country will be tested for radon levels with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment providing €70,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) for high risk areas in East Galway and Roscommon.
The EPA will undertake the comprehensive Radon Testing and Remediation Survey, including behavioural factors, which will help inform the design of a new financial incentive scheme, which may be provided for in future legislation.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.
MInister Ciaran Cannon said this week that there is 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,” he said. adding that the study:aims 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. From yesterday (April 30 ), the EPA is writing to householders inviting them to take part in the survey.
“If householders in East Galway receive this letter I would encourage them to accept the invitation to test,” said Minister Cannon.
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 per cent towards the cost of remediation work. For further information, people can contact the EPA on [email protected] or 1800 300 600.