Radon Measurement

The greatest health risk from radiation in Ireland is caused by radon.  It accounts for 56 per cent of the total radiation dose received by the Irish population.  Up to 250 cases of lung cancer in Ireland every year can be linked to radon.

The EPA provides a radon measurement service which is accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board to ISO 17025 for homes and workplaces.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas which is naturally produced in the ground from the uranium present in small quantities in all rocks and soils

You cannot smell, see or taste radon

Radon can only be measured with special detectors.

image of radon detector

How can I measure radon in my home?

The EPA process of measuring radon in the home involves a series of simple steps

  • Two radon detectors will be sent by post. Place one in the main living area and one in a main bedroom
  • Leave the detectors in place for a minimum of three months
  • Return the radon detectors to the EPA Office of Radiological Protection in the free post envelope provided
  • We will analyse the detectors and issue you a radon report which will inform you of the results and, where necessary, any recommendations to reduce radon levels.  You will receive your report within 28 days of receipt of your detectors.

What information will a radon report for my home contain?

Our report will include the following information:

  • The name of the householder
  • The full address of the residence tested
  • The date of issue of the report
  • The name of the person responsible for issuing the report
  • The measurement period
  • The level of radon gas in each room measured
  • The average annual seasonally corrected radon gas level in the home.  The average annual radon gas level is a seasonally corrected value that takes account of the fact that indoor radon levels tend to be higher in the winter and lower in the summer.

Measurements are recorded in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). The average indoor radon level in a home in Ireland is 89 Bq/m3 though levels of up to 500 times higher than this figure have been recorded.

Is it a legal requirement to measure radon in a workplace?

Radon measurements are legally required in occupied ground-floor and basement areas of indoor workplace premises located in High Radon Areas.

However, it is possible to find workplaces with high radon concentrations in locations not designated as High Radon Areas. Therefore, we urge all employers to adopt a proactive approach to radon in the workplace and carry out a measurement regardless of location.

Only those workplaces or work areas with an occupancy of above 100 hours per year need be measured.

How can I measure radon in a workplace?

For an explanation of how workplace measurements should be carried out, see the booklet Planning Radon Surveys in Workplaces – Guidance Notes.

The process of measuring radon in the workplace involves a series of simple steps:

  • Determine the number of radon detectors needed
  • Upon receipt of your application, the EPA will send the radon detectors to you by post
  • Leave the detectors in place for a minimum of three months
  • After this period, return the radon detectors to the EPA for analysis
  • A radon report will be issued which will inform you of the results and, where necessary, any recommendations to reduce radon levels.

What information will a radon report for a workplace contain?

Our report will include the following information:

  • The name of the company
  • The full address of the workplace tested
  • The date of issue of the report
  • The name of the person responsible for issuing the report
  • The measurement period
  • The level of radon gas in each area measured.

If the radon concentration in each measured area is below the statutory value of 400 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3) no further action is required. The report should be kept on file.

If radon concentration is above the statutory value of 400 Bq/m3 in any area measured, you must notify the EPA Office of Radiological Protection using this form (note: this only applies if measurements are carried out by a private radon measurement service).

For more information on the actions an employer may take if high radon concentrations are found in aboveground workplaces read our guidance note.