Ten per cent of homes tested in Louth were found to have levels of the radioactive gas radon above the acceptable level and the Environmental Protection Agency is advising all householders in the county to take action to protect themselves and their families.
Radon is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer. It is estimated that about 300 lung cancer cases each year in Ireland are linked to radon exposure. Reducing high radon levels will, over time, save lives.
Radon is easy to test for and easy to fix, so learning more about it, and how you can protect yourself is critical. The World Health Organisation has categorised radon as a Group 1 carcinogen, in the same group as asbestos and tobacco smoke.
Alison Dowdall, Scientist, Environmental Protection Agency said: “Radon is invisible, colourless and odourless. It is present in all Irish homes and it is estimated that up to 500,000 people are living in homes with radon levels above the acceptable level. Radon is only a problem if it is ignored. If there is a high radon level in your home, it is exposing you and your family to an unnecessary radiation dose.
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“Reducing radon levels is simple and inexpensive and will immediately reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. For moderate levels of radon, improving indoor ventilation may reduce the level by up to half, the cost of which is low.
“For higher levels, a fan assisted ‘sump’ can be installed which can reduce radon levels by over 90 per cent. The sump can be installed in a day by a contractor with little disruption to the home. If you know you have high radon levels in your home and haven’t already done so, we would urge everyone in Louth to protect your family’s health by reducing radon as soon as possible.”
You can find a list of EPA registered radon measurement services and details about how to test and fix your home on www.radon.ie. Radon testing costs on average €60.
Take the first step today and have your home tested for radon. Give yourself and your family the peace of mind that your home is safe. If your results are high, it is easy to reduce the levels in your home.