Two-thirds of householders unlikely to test for radon despite risks, says EPA

Two-thirds of householders unlikely to test for radon despite risks, says EPA

Householders are reluctant to test their homes for the potentially deadly gas, believing them to be unaffected. 

Two-thirds of Irish people are unlikely to test their homes for radon despite the potentially deadly consequences posed by the gas, a survey by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found.

Every year in Ireland, 300 lung cancer cases are linked to radon exposure, and while the EPA found high levels of awareness that radon is cancer-causing, it said householders are reluctant to test their homes for the potentially deadly gas, believing them to be unaffected. 

Senior scientist at the EPA, Stephanie Long, explained that the gas is “the largest contributor to radiation in Ireland. If there is a high radon level in your home, it is exposing you and your family to unnecessary radiation”.

Ms Long warned that “radon can be found in homes of all types and ages throughout the country. Yet, despite the risks, there continues to be a reluctance amongst householders to protect their health by testing their homes”. 

Ireland has relatively high indoor radon levels, compared to the worldwide average. 

About a third of Ireland is classified as a high radon area by the EPA. 

However, the EPA recommends that people in all areas of the country test their homes for the dangerous gas. 

It says radon problems in a home can be fixed easily, relatively inexpensively, and usually without disruption to the household.

Clinical psychologist Dr Clare Kambamettu is a homeowner in Galway who found high levels of radon in her home which she acted on immediately. 

She had a radon sump installed which addressed the high levels of gas in her home.

We were worried when our test showed high levels of radon. We soon found out that the solution was surprisingly easy. 

"Most of the work was done quickly from the outside of our home with very little disruption. The best part was that once the work was done, the risk was gone too,” Dr Kambamettu said.

You can check if you are living in a high radon area on the EPA’s interactive radon risk map.

Further information on radon exposure and home radon tests epa.ie is available here

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