Homeowners should test for cancer causing gas

The cancer-causing radioactive gas 'Radon' is becoming a concern for homeowners.

More than 62,000 homes in Ireland have been tested for radon so far. Almost 8,800 homes have already been identified as having high levels of radon above the acceptable level - some homes have had extremely high levels.

So what is Radon? It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of igneous rock. It is brought into the house via cracks in the floors, walls, around service entry points, etc. The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) estimates that approximately 13% of lung cancer deaths in Ireland are associated with Radon. 200Bq/m³ is the reference level above which remedial action is recommended for domestic buildings.

The good news is that radon is easy to test and simple solutions are available to reduce high levels where necessary. Give yourself and your family peace of mind and test your home.

New homes will have a radon barrier installed but workmanship under building site conditions make it difficult to be 100% certain that there are no leaks. Testing consists of placing 2No detectors in your home, about 1m over finished floor level. It is recommended that one is placed in the main living space and the other in the master bedroom. The detectors are left in place for 3 months as changes in natural ventilation can impact the results.

The detectors are then returned to the laboratory for testing. This will determine the level of exposure in your home; these results have been seasonally adjusted to take account of over a 12 month period. A report will then be sent out to you indicating the test results and advice on ways to reduce the radon level in your home.

Since 1998, it is a requirement of the Building Regulations that a radon barrier and stand by sump are installed. The radon barrier involves the installation of a fully sealed membrane that covers the whole footprint of the building and a stand by sump to the underside of the floor.

There are several ways of reducing radon, the two most common are by improving ventilation or installing what is known as an active radon sump.

We are registered with the EPA and RPII as remediation contractors.

To discuss further, contact James on 087 8328945 or email james@sugruedesign.com

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