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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Radon Gas Affecting Half 1 Million Homes

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Senator Keogan calls for grants for Radon affected homes ‘In the interests of our citizens as taxpayers and as human beings– I urge the government to provide grants to support the cost of prevention measures.’

Independent Senator Sharon Keogan called upon the government today to invest in testing kits and ‘sumps’ for the detection and removal of cancer-causing radon gas from over half a million homes in Ireland.

The gas, which is naturally emitted from igneous rock, affects roughly one third of the country, and is linked to over 300 cases of lung cancer each year, the second largest cause of the disease after smoking.

Addressing the Seanad, Senator Keogan stated: “This gas is colourless, odourless, and tasteless and it seeps up through soil and enters buildings through small cracks, holes or imperfections that may exist in the floor area or gaps around pipes or cables. There is nothing a household can do about this. There is nothing an employer can do about this. But there is something the government can do about this.”

The independent senator spoke of the €50 radon testing kits which can be used to check the levels of the gas in a home, as well as the “fan-assisted sumps”, which once installed can lower gas levels by 90%, at a cost of €1,000-€1,500.

Senator Keogan explained that, “while €50 and €1,500 may sound like small amounts for such important prevention measures, to homeowners, businesses and employers across the nation whose budgets are already stretched thin by dealing with the covid-19 pandemic this is no small sum.”

Such measures are sensible from a fiscal perspective also, with chemo- and radiotherapies for lung cancer costing anywhere between €50,000 and €100,000.

Senator Keogan said “the people of Ireland need to be aware of the risk, aware of the danger and aware of the cost – and you, Minister, need to be ready to help, to inform and to act.”

Minister Thomas Byrne, who replied on the behalf of Minister Eamon Ryan, said that the National Radon Control Strategy 2014 was underway, and that the government is waiting on ESRI data which will allow them to design an appropriate radon financial support scheme for householders. ➡️

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