Waterford radon week

Date released: Oct 04 2010

RPII to highlight danger of exposure to cancer-causing radon gas during awareness drive in Waterford.

More than one in five homes tested in Waterford have high levels of radon.

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) is to host a week-long awareness drive in Waterford to highlight the dangers of exposure to radon gas. The information campaign will begin on Saturday 9th October and will urge people to test their home for the presence of the cancer-causing gas. 

Waterford has the second highest incidence in the country of homes with high radon levels with more than one in five homes tested by the RPII so far found to be above the acceptable level. 

Radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer after smoking and is linked to up to 200 lung cancer deaths each year in Ireland. 

As part of the awareness drive, the RPII will host two public meetings on Wednesday 13th October at 3.30 pm and 7.30pm in Dooley's Hotel, The Quay, Waterford City. The event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. 

Mr. David Fenton, Senior Scientist at the RPII, said: “Waterford has a severe radon problem, but it will only remain a problem if people ignore it. With the awareness drive and public meetings we hope to convince as many people as possible that it is easy to test for radon and, if needs be, straightforward to reduce any high levels. Homeowners in Waterford need to take this matter seriously and measure radon levels in their homes to ensure that they and their families are not at risk.” 

Testing for radon and, in the event of a high reading, reducing the levels present are both straightforward. To test for radon, one radon detector is placed in a bedroom and a second in a living room. The detectors are small and are sent and returned by post. There is no need for anyone to visit your home to make the test. The RPII charge €56 (inc. VAT) for a test, prices vary from other test suppliers. Detailed information on radon, its risks, how to get your home or workplace tested, a list of test suppliers and how to reduce high levels, if present, is available on the RPII’s website www.rpii.ie or on Freefone 1800 300 600. 

An interactive map is available on the website so that anyone can search for their address to see whether their home or workplace is in a High Radon Area. They can find out what they need to know about radon – what it is, why it is a problem and how they can have a measurement made. Information can also be obtained on freephone 1800 300 600.