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Cian O'Callaghan TD

95pc of Irish householders are living in homes that have not been tested for radon

Mandatory testing for radon must be introduced whenever homes are being sold or rented, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.

“Exposure to radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer and is responsible for approximately 300 lung cancer deaths every year. Given these cancers are preventable, and the gas is a silent killer, we need to do much more to reduce radon levels in homes.

“Currently, 95pc of Irish householders are living in homes that have not been tested for radon. Meanwhile, there is no requirement for those selling or renting their homes to test for radon levels. This must change.

“The National Radon Control Strategy Phase 2, which was published in 2019, recommended that radon testing, and where necessary remediation, should be compulsory when a home is being sold in high radon areas. It also recommended that BER reports, which are currently mandatory when a home is being sold, be revised to include information about radon levels. That strategy also recommended that landlords should be required to test for, and where necessary, remediate radon.

“Regrettably, those recommendations have yet to be introduced. While employers, in high radon areas, are required to test workplaces for radon since 2019, there is no equivalent law for domestic properties. Today’s EPA report, which notes that 170,000 homes are at risk from radon – an increase of 45,000 homes over the past 20 years – underscores the urgent need to act now and introduce regulations to reduce the risk of radon.

“Radon is odourless, colourless and tasteless and is therefore impossible to detect in the absence of specific testing. To compound matters, Ireland has relatively high indoor radon concentrations, estimated to be the eighth highest among OECD countries.

“Given radon poses such a serious threat to public health, the government must act now to mitigate that risk by mandating radon testing whenever homes are being sold or rented.”

26 May, 2022


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