What is Radon?

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that comes from the ground. The gas can only be measured using specialised tools and is colourless, odourless, and tasteless. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Radon is the cause of 350 cases of lung cancer in Ireland each year.

What is radon in a house?

Radon can enter your home from the ground through small cracks in floors and through gaps around pipes or cables. Homes and workplaces in some parts of Ireland are more likely to have a radon problem. These parts of the country are called High Radon Areas. Click here to open interactive Radon Risk Map in Ireland.

what is radon?

Employers Responsibility

By law, employers now have a responsibility to test their workplace for radon if the workplace is one of the following:

  • underground, including mines and show caves;
  • on the ground floor or basement level in high radon areas;
  • is one identified by the EPA as being liable to have radon concentrations above 300 Bq/m3

This includes all workplaces and schools in High Radon Areas. If the radon in your workplace is greater than 300 Bq/m3, you must take action to reduce radon levels to protect the health of workers.

Further detail on Employer Responsibility is available on the EPA website: Employers | Environmental Protection Agency (epa.ie)

Taking Action

In an effort to reduce the rate of lung cancers around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an international radon project to help countries increase awareness, collect data, and encourage action to reduce radon-related risks. The National Radon Control Strategy (NRCS) was developed in 2014 to determine what actions where needed to help reduce the number of radon related lung cancers in Ireland.

Reducing Radon Risk

Without measurements there is no way to tell whether radon is present because it is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas. The EPA provides guidance as to risks associated with different levels of exposure and when the public should consider corrective action.

Modern buildings are often well insulated to save on energy bills. However, little airflow can allow radon to build up to high levels and cause long term exposure. Ventilation, which can be as simple as opening a window, is often the solution to keep radon levels safe. Long term monitoring is key, you can know when levels start to rise and act accordingly.

what is radon?

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