Cancer-causing gas found in Galway homes
A home in the Castlegar area has been found to have 18 times the acceptable level of radon gas.
In recent tests, twenty-three per cent of Galway homes were found to have high levels of the cancer-causing radon gas, according to figures released today by the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII).
Over 300 homes from across the country have been identified by the RPII as having high levels of radon in the last seven months. Nationally, radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer after smoking and is directly linked to up to 200 lung cancer deaths each year.
In Galway, 200 tests for radon gas were completed in homes between 1 June and 31 December 2011. Of these, 46 were above the acceptable level of 200 becquerels per cubic metre.
The findings revealed that a home in the Castlegar area contained levels more than 18 times the acceptable level. Six homes had more than four times the acceptable level with readings in excess of 800 Bq/m3 and were found in Claregalway (3), Oughterard (2) and Castlegar (1).
The remaining 39 homes had readings above and up to four times the acceptable level and were found throughout the county.
Commenting on the findings, Mr David Fenton, Senior Scientist at the RPII said that Galway has a “significant radon problem”.
“Our research indicates there are hundreds more homes across the county with high levels of radon gas. To date, only a very small proportion of these homes have been identified. Exposure to high radon levels causes lung cancer and many people are unknowingly living with very high levels in their homes. The only way people will know if it is in their homes is by testing.”
For more information, log on to www.rpii.ie or call 1800 300 600.