Social Democrats TD for Wicklow, Jennifer Whitmore is encouraging residents across Wicklow to get radon testing after the EPA released an updated map identifying high risk areas in Ireland. According to the EPA, parts of Wicklow have been identified as high risk.
Radon is a radioactive gas that causes lung cancer. It is formed in the ground by the radioactive decay of uranium which is present in all rocks and soils.
You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. It can only be measured with special detectors. Radon can cause lung cancer when exposed to high levels over a long period of time.
Every year in Ireland, radon causes about 350 cases of lung cancer.
Speaking on the report, Deputy Whitmore said: “Exposure to radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and is responsible for approximately 350 lung cancer deaths every year. Given these cancers are preventable, we need to do much more to reduce radon levels in homes. The good news is that there are things that can be done to help.
“The updated EPA map does confirm that parts of Wicklow are exposed to higher levels of radon. I would encourage homeowners in Wicklow to check out the map first and if you are in a particularly high-risk area, get your home checked for radon levels. This can be done relatively easily and affordable by purchasing a simple monitor (approximately €50) from a registered Radon testing service. These are listed on the EPA website.”
The EPA regularly holds a National Radon Forum to bring together all those that are working to reduce the exposure of the Irish public from radon to discuss progress in implementing the NRCS and the results of radon research.
By law, employers now have a responsibility to test their workplace for radon, when that workplace is in a High Radon Area or if it is an underground workplace.