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Note: New Legislation On Radon In Workplaces

New radiation protection legislation now requires all employers, in high radon areas, to test their workplace for the radioactive gas ‘Radon‘. Where levels are above the national reference level of 300 Becquerel per metre cubed, employers are then required to carry out work to ensure the reduction of these levels.

The above Radon Map (Click Here To View In More Detail) has five categories: less than 1%, 1 to 5%, 5 to 10%, 10 to 20% and greater than 20%. If you live in an area designated as ‘greater than 20%’, this means that more than 20% (1 in 5) homes in that grid square are likely to have radon concentrations above the Reference Level.

At today’s National Radon Forum, attendees heard from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) about the requirements of this new legislation.

Details on protocol for measurement of Radon in homes & workplaces can be downloaded HERE

Speaking at today’s National Radon Forum Ms Laura Burke, (EPA Director General), said: “In Ireland, up to 300 cases of lung cancer each year are linked to Radon, which is a serious public health hazard. Employers now have responsibility to ensure that their employees are protected from exposure to this radioactive gas. Radon testing in workplaces is simple and inexpensive and, where necessary, reducing high radon levels in a building is also straightforward. The EPA and the HSA are working in partnership to support employers in implementing this legislation.”

Yvonne Mullooly, (Assistant Chief Executive, from the Health & Safety Authority) welcomed the new legislation stating: “In addition to the existing general duties on employers to address radioactive hazards, this new legislation provides employers with clear testing requirements for radon gas in their workplaces. The Authority looks forward to continued collaboration with the EPA in highlighting radon gas exposure in workplaces and supporting the ongoing work of the National Radon Control Strategy Co-ordination Group. Our inspectors will continue to raise awareness during their inspections of the potential for radon gas exposures and the need for appropriate risk assessments. We will continue to support employers by providing information and through our on-line risk assessment tool BeSMART www.BeSMART.ie, which includes radon as a hazard.”

Phase two of the National Radon Control Strategy is also being launched today at the 15th National Radon Forum in Dublin. Attendees will hear about the Government’s Strategy to tackle radon over the next 5 years and the research that is needed to support this work.

The EPA radon team are available to answer your queries at Email: radon@epa.ie or Tel: 1800 300 600.

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