Is a neighbour's radon test result a good indication of the radon level in my home?
No. Radon levels vary from house to house. The only way of knowing the level in your home is to have a test carried out in your own home.
Could radon account for other illnesses apart from lung cancer?
No. According to current scientific knowledge, there is no other proven health effect associated with radon exposure. The risk of developing lung cancer depends on the level of radon present, the length of time one has been exposed and whether or not you are a smoker.
What level of radon in a house should give cause for concern?
The national Reference Level for long-term exposure to radon in a house, above which the need for remedial action should be considered, is 200 Bq/m3. A radon test should be carried out using two radon detectors each placed in a bedroom and a living room for at least three months. The average of the two rooms is seasonally corrected to take account of the months of the year that the measurement was made, and it is this seasonally corrected average that is compared to the national Reference Level.
How long does a radon test take?
The EPA recommends a minimum measurement duration of three months. This is because there can be significant day to day variations in radon levels. Therefore the only way of confidently assessing your radon risk is by carrying out a three month test. Only the results of a test carried out over at least three months can be compared to the national Reference Level.
Can unoccupied or holiday homes be tested for radon?
Yes. However it is likely that the result will be higher than when the home is occupied. This is because once the home becomes occupied there will be greater ventilation from people opening windows and doors which will act to reduce the radon level. The EPA strongly recommends that a radon test is carried out when a home is occupied.
Is there a radon grant to help me with the cost of remediation?
There is no grant available to cover the cost of radon remediation. Some radon reduction techniques are more expensive than others and each one will need to be assessed on a case by case basis. However the typical price of retrofitting a radon sump into a standard house is approximately €925 (ranging from €400-€1500). Other less expensive options are available, for example, improving the ventilation in your home by installing extra wall vents. However, the most suitable method will depend on the radon levels and on the type of building.
A Scheme of Housing Aid for Older People is available to assist older people, generally over 65 years, to have repairs or improvements carried out to their homes. Where a suite of works is being grant aided under this scheme, Local Authorities may also, as part of the package of works, assist with the provision of radon remediation works, where applicable. Contact the Housing Section of your Local Authority for further information. Additional information is also available from Citizen Information website.
If my house is fitted with a radon membrane, can I be sure I won't have a radon problem?
No. Even if a radon membrane has been installed, it could have been damaged during the construction of the house. A single gap or hole in the membrane can make it less effective. The only way of knowing is by testing your home for radon.
My house has a standby radon sump installed - does this reduce radon in my home?
No. Sumps that are installed at the construction stage are stand-by (or inactive) radon sumps. Standby sumps do not reduce radon levels in your home. They are a potential means of evacuating radon should the need arise. If, following a test, high radon levels are found, the sump can be activated by adding a fan.
Are children more at risk from radon than adults?
There is no conclusive scientific evidence that children are at greater risk from radon than adults.