Sligo home found with 13 times the acceptable level of cancer-causing radon gas. Occupants received radiation dose equivalent to 3,000 chest X-rays per year

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) has identified a house in county Sligo with extremely high concentrations of radon gas. The home, located in the Ballymote area, had radon levels which were over 13 times the acceptable level.

Nationally, radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer after smoking and is linked to about 200 lung cancer deaths each year. The RPII believes it is very likely that there are more homes across the country with similarly high radon levels and urges people to test for the gas and reduce their risk of lung cancer.

The RPII informed the householder, who had undertaken a radon measurement, that the average level in the house was greater than 2,600 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), or 13 times the acceptable level of 200 Bq/m3. The radiation dose received by occupants of the house living with this radon concentration is equivalent to receiving 9 chest X-rays per day, or over 3,000 per year. Following advice, the householder took immediate action to fix the problem by having a radon sump installed beneath the house which prevents high radon levels ever accumulating in the house again. The householder is currently waiting on a post-remediation measurement to ensure the levels have been reduced.