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Dublin: 14°C Friday 20 May 2022

Radon levels 24 times the accepted level found in house

That’s the radiation equivalent of getting 17 chest X-rays every day.

Radon map
Radon map
Image: EPA

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Agency (EPA) is calling on people in high radon areas to test their homes for radon.

Since 2010 the EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection has carried out awareness campaigns in the 12 radon priority counties – Sligo, Carlow, Waterford, Tipperary, Galway, Kerry, Wexford, Louth, Tipperary, Mayo and Clare – and undertaken testing for 4,700 householders.

Of the homes tested, over 700 had raised radon levels and almost 80 had extremely high radon levels. Radon is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer. It is estimated that some 250 lung cancer cases each year in Ireland are linked to radon exposure.

Some 733 of the homes tested were found to have raised radon levels and nearly 80 had extremely high levels.

The highest home tested in Ireland was found to have over 24 times the acceptable level – the equivalent of getting 17 chest X-rays every day. Previous testing showed a house had 80 times the accepted level – the equivalent of 56 chest X-rays daily.

David Fenton of the EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection said: “Every two days someone dies from a radon-induced lung cancer in Ireland – since 2010 some 1,700 people have died from this preventable health problem.

Since beginning our campaigns we have found some extremely high radon levels in homes. The reduction of these extremely high levels will overtime save lives.

“Radon is only a problem if it is ignored. You can protect your family by testing your home for radon and, where high levels are found, reducing those levels. Fixing radon problems in a home is relatively straightforward and inexpensive.”


Measuring for Radon is a relatively inexpensive, straightforward process.

Radon test kits can be ordered from the EPA or from other radon measurement services. The test kit includes two radon detectors – one should be placed in the bedroom and one in the living room.

After three months, the detectors can be posted back to the provider. A full test report is sent by post, with advice on how to deal with high radon readings. The cost of a radon test is around €50. To find out more click here or call 1800 300 600.

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Órla Ryan

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