Home had 30 times safe level of radon
EPA urges homeowners to carry out test
One south Wicklow home has been found to have 30 times the acceptable level of radon gas - a radiation dose equivalent to the occupants receiving about 20 chest X-rays per day.
The Avoca home was among nearly 200 homes across Co Wicklow where radon tests have been carried out since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ran an awareness campaign in the county last November.
To date, the EPA's results show that 33 homes - including in Arklow, Aughrim, Avoca, Baltinglass, Blessington and Rathdrum - had levels of the cancer-causing gas that were above the accepted level.
Radon is a radioactive gas linked to up to 250 lung cancer cases each year in Ireland and is the second most common cause of lung cancer after smoking. County Wicklow has one of the highest incidences of homes with high radon levels in the country.
Stephanie Long, a senior scientist at the EPA, has said that, as much of the county is categorised as high risk, there may be many householders unaware that they are unnecessarily living with higher levels of this radioactive gas.
'Testing for radon is really simple - one radon detector is placed in a bedroom and a second in the living room. The detectors are small and are sent and returned by post. In the event of a high reading, reducing radon levels is also straightforward. Remediation work is usually completed within one day where sumps are installed from outside the home so there is no need to dig up internal floors,' she said.
Sets of radon detectors costs about €50 and are available from the EPA and other registered testing services.
The cost of reducing radon in your home can vary, but the average cost of installing the most effective solution is about €925. The EPA provides a list of registered remediators.
Detailed information on radon, its risks, how to get a home or workplace tested and lists of registered testing and remediating services is available on www.radon.ie or by calling 1800 300600.