High levels of radon gas detected around Boyle

It is estimated between 5-10% of homes in a 10 km grid around Boyle are above the radon gas reference level.

And an area to the south west of Boyle, adjacent to the Finiskiln River and near the Sligo border, is designated a “High Radon Area” with between ten and twenty per cent of the homes in this 10 km grid square estimated to be above the reference level.

Likewise, an area around Ballyfarnon is also designated a “High Radon Area”.

You can view the interactive map here

The news comes as the EPA revealed that a house in Sligo was exposed to radiation levels equivalent to having 15 chest x-rays every day because of radon gas in the ground beneath their home. Read more here

If you live in a High Radon Area there is a greater probability that your home will have high radon levels.  High radon concentrations can be found in any part of the country so even if you do not live in a High Radon Area, it is still important to have your home and your workplace tested for Radon gas.

The World Health Organisation has categorised radon as a carcinogen, in the same group as asbestos and tobacco smoke. In Ireland, up to 250 cases of lung cancer each year are linked to exposure to radon. There is a synergistic effect between radon and tobacco smoke. This means that smokers are at much greater risk of developing radon related lung cancer than non-smokers. There is no scientific evidence linking radon with any other types of respiratory illnesses or other cancers.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It has no taste, colour or smell. It is formed in the ground by the radioactive decay of uranium which is present in all rocks and soils. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. It can only be measured with special detectors which you can obtain here

Outside radon is diluted to very low levels. Radon can enter a home from the ground through small cracks in floors and through gaps around pipes or cables. Homes in some parts of the country are more likely to have a radon problem. These parts of the country are called High Radon Areas. You can check on the interactive map to see whether your home is in a High Radon Area. The only way to know how much radon is in a home is to take the radon test.

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