Renewed health warning on deadly radon

The EPA has reissued its call to Mayo householders to get their homes tested for high levels of the cancer causing gas, radon.

The EPA's Office of Radiological Protection, which has been running an awareness campaign in Mayo since last November on the health risk posed by radon, said it is consistently finding dangerously high levels of the gas in homes in Mayo. 

One home in Foxford was found to have six times the acceptable level of radon, which was exposing the householders to a radiation dose equivalent to four chest x-rays per day

Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas that can seep indoors and accumulate to dangerous levels in houses built on certain types of rock.

After smoking, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Ireland and is linked to some 250 lung cancer cases each year.

The EPA tested 140 homes in Mayo in the first six months of 2015, and found 33 homes in Foxford, Crossmolina, Claremorris, Ballinrobe, Ballina, Ballyhaunis, Westport, and Castlebar, with high levels of radon gas.

Stephanie Long, senior scientist with the Office of Radiological Protection, urged all Mayo householders to order the simple and inexpensive radon test to protect their families' health.

"Mayo is a high risk county and many families are unnecessarily exposed to high levels of radon in their own homes," she stated.

"Radon is only a problem if it is ignored and simple and inexpensive solutions are available to reduce excessive levels in the home”.  

A radon measurement test usually costs around €50. 

For more information, visit www.epa.ie/radiation or freephone 1800 300600.

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