Minister Denis Naughten has announced that approximately 1,400 homes in the west and mid-west of the country will be tested for radon levels and from Monday (30th April) those householders would be contacted by the Environmental Protection Agency inviting them to take part in the test.
Minister Naughten confirmed that his Department is providing €70,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to undertake the radon test in high-risk areas in East Galway and Roscommon.
“The EPA will begin writing to householders this week, inviting them to take part. The comprehensive Radon Testing and Remediation Survey, will help inform the design of a new financial incentive scheme, which may be provided for in future legislation,” stated Minister Naughten.
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.
“We have 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,” added Minister Naughten.
The Minister advised those who receive letters to accept the invitation to test for Radon.
“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% towards the cost of remediation work,” concluded Minister Naughten.