I welcome the announcement by Minister Denis Naughten that approximately 1,400 homes in the West and Mid-West of the country will be tested for radon levels.
The areas to be tested include Tuam & Loughrea. The testing will help inform the design of a new financial incentive scheme.
‘We have a particular problem in the Mid-West and West of the country with radon gas. The difficulty with radon gas is that it is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which originates from the decay of uranium in rocks and soils and is colourless and tasteless. People do not know that there is a build -up of radon in their homes. After smoking, it is the next biggest cause of lung cancer in this country and responsible for approximately five cases of lung cancer in Ireland every week. ‘The study has three main aims, which are, to establish if offering financial assistance with remediation in the event of a high indoor radon measurement increases the willingness of homeowners to test for radon, to estimate the proportion of homeowners who would avail of assistance to remediate in the event of a high test and consequently to provide an estimate of the cost of providing such a remediation grant.
‘The EPA has begun writing to householders inviting them to take part. If homeowners received this letter I would encourage you to accept the invitation to test. Householders will be invited to carry out a free radon test in their home and to complete a short questionnaire. The radon tests will begin in June and results will be back by September. If high radon levels are found, the householder will be offered a grant of 50% towards the cost of remediation work.