independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

House buyers now entitled to gas checks on property

PEOPLE selling their homes will have to pass on any information they have about radon gas levels to the purchaser under new proposals outlined by the Government.

However, sellers will not be forced to have their homes tested, and the cost of any test requested by potential buyers – probably around €50 – will be met by the buyers.

The proposal is contained in a draft National Radon Control Strategy, which aims to boost the number of homes being tested for the dangerous gas ,which is linked to between 150 and 200 lung cancer deaths in Ireland each year.

While many public buildings, schools and local authority homes are tested for radon, the rate of testing of private homes is low.

Dangerous

The Department of the Environment estimates that just 5pc of the national stock of 1.5 million homes has been tested for radon.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by the decay of uranium in rocks and soil. It has no smell, colour or taste and can only be found using special detectors.

In the outdoors, radon quickly dilutes to harmless levels. However, in an enclosed space, it can reach dangerously high concentrations. Around one-third of the country, mainly western and south-eastern regions, are classified as high-radon areas.

The strategy is now open for public consultation and interested parties have until March 1 to make submissions. Further details are available on www.environ.ie.

Irish Independent

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