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Campile has highest radon level in County Wexford according to EPA radon map

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Radon risk map of Ireland.

Radon risk map of Ireland.

Radon risk map of Ireland.

goreyguardian

Campile has the highest level of radon in the county, according to a new map launched by the EPA that aims to alert residents of the radon risk in their area.

The national map highlights areas with high levels of radon – a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that causes about 350 cases of lung cancer in Ireland each year. Members of the public are being urged to check their home on the map and carry out a test if they find they’re living in a high-risk area. 

Bunclody, Enniscorthy, Ferns, Gorey and New Ross were the areas highlighted by the EPA radon team as the areas with the highest levels in the county.

"The highest level we found in Wexford was 4,100 Bq/m3 in Campile. Ideally radon should be 200 Bq/m3,” said Alison Dowdall, Scientist with the EPA Radon Team. 

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When asked about the risk posed by radon, Dowdall said that it is a long-term risk.

"The longer you live in a house with high radon risk, the more at risk you are. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.”

The EPA advises people in high radon areas to carry out a radon test to find out the level of radon in their home, while employers in high radon areas are legally required to carry out a radon test. While the EPA stopped carrying out tests in 2019, there are private companies that sell and post tests to the home for approximately €50.

“Two detectors are posted to you. They are placed in the rooms in the house where you spend most of your time. This allows you to get the best picture of the levels you are exposed to.”

It is also possible to borrow a digital radon monitor from Wexford libraries.

If you discover your home is in a high radon area, the most effective way to mitigate it is a radon sump, said Dowdall. A radon sump is a cavity about the size of a bucket that is placed under the floor slab. Once this is created, a pipe is put into the cavity and run alongside the house. With the addition of a small electric fan, it allows the radon rich air to be drawn out of the ground and pumped away from the house. All of this work is done from the outside of the house, says Dowdall, so it is not necessary to lift up flooring.

Installing a radon sump will cost a homeowner approximately €1,000. While some people may be eligible for funding for this under the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme, there is no other funding available for those who find themselves in a high radon area.


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