13/10/2009

Tralee Houses Found With Highest Radon In Europe

The carcinogenic gas, radon, has been found in two houses in Tralee, Co Kerry, at record high levels.

The two houses have the third and fourth highest measurements ever recorded in Europe, while Tralee and Castleisland have 15 of the 20 highest recorded measurements in Ireland.

The Radiological Protection Institute said the latest finds were 70 times higher than what is acceptable - resulting in the residents being exposed to the equivalent of nearly 47 chest x-rays per day.

Commenting on the findings, David Fenton, Manager of Radon Advice at the institute said: “Many people in Ireland are living with very dangerous levels of radiation. We implore householders to take this seriously and measure the radon level in their home as a step towards reducing the risk of lung cancer to their family. It’s a relatively simple process and people can find out more by visiting www.rpii.ie”.

Remedial work to both homes has now been undertaken and they are awaiting the results of retests to ensure the levels have reduced below the acceptable level.

The institute has urged people in high-risk areas to get their homes tested immediately. Only 5% of those believed to be at risk have been tested.

Radon is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas, which is generated naturally from the decay of uranium in rocks and soil.

(DW/KMcA)

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