Radon Testing in the Home
The only way to know is test
When Radon enters an enclosed space, such as your Home, it can sometimes build up to unacceptably hazardous high concentration levels. Radon can enter a building from the ground through small cracks in floors, walls and service entry points etc. Radon is drawn in to a building from the ground because of the difference in air pressure between the warmer internal air within a building and the external air. The warm indoor air is less dense than the outdoor air. The radioactive Radon gas accumulated within the building will decay to produce tiny radioactive particles. When these particles are inhaled they are deposited in your airways and on your lung tissue. This radiation dose can result in lung cancer.
Radon is measured in Becquerel’s per cubic metre (Bq/m3) and is present in all Homes. The average Radon level in Irish Homes is 89 (Bq/m3). Levels 500 times this average have been recorded. In 1990 the Government set a National Reference level of 200(Bq/m3) for Homes. It is advised that if the readings for Radon gas are above these levels following the carrying out of Radon testing you should consider remedial actions to reduce them (Radon Reduction Solutions). The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland advocated that all buildings, both old and new are tested for Radon.
Homes should be re-tested
Radon Testing.ie advise that Homes that may have already been tested in the past and found to have satisfactory levels of Radon should be re-tested if they have under gone Structural alterations, Upgrade of window/doors, Sealing/insulation of walls/attic and the blocking up of vents. These works may have reduced ventilation into the building.
Neighbours results are no indication of the levels in your Home
In the parts of the Country that have been designated as High Radon Areas, over 1 in 10 or more Houses are predicted to have Radon reading above the National Reference Level. Your home may still have a Radon high reading even if you do not live in one of these areas. Radon levels can differ a lot between buildings, so even if your neighbours have measured for Radon in their homes and the readings were below the National Reference Level, you should also have your home tested. Testing is the only way to find out if the Radon levels are safe in your Home.
Radon Testing.ie supply the special Radon detectors which are used to measure Radon in your Home. We carry out Radon testing to protocols set down by the RPII for both the Home and Workplace with long-term measurement of the average radon concentration, giving the most reliable indication of whether or not a radon problem exists. (3 month test)
Radon Testing.ie use a passive device, called an Alpha track etch detector which is not radioactive and does not pose any hazard to the user. Instant tests do not provide a reliable measurement of radon levels.
The 3 month test (recommended by RPII)
- When you purchase your Radon testing kit, it will be sent to you in the post along with instructions.
- The Radon testing kit will contain two small detectors (about the size of a Kimberley biscuit) which you place in your home for 3 months.
- One detector is placed in the main bedroom.
- The other detector is placed in the main living area, the room most occupied by your family.
- After 3 months, the detectors are returned to Radon Testing.ie for laboratory analyses to see how much radon they have been exposed to in your Home.
- Radon Testing.ie will issue a report to you showing the test results. It will give you the average Radon level for your Home.
- If the Radon levels are high in your Home, Radon Testing.ie will provide advice on Radon reduction methods (see Radon Reduction Solutions)
- Radon detector kit can purchased from Radon Testing.ie. for €50.
- Radon Testing.ie offer different purchasing options (See purchasing options)
1. Buy Online
2. By Post (send cheque or bank draft to Radon Testing.ie with your details (See purchasing option to print off form).
3.By Phone (give use a call for advice and order your test kit).
Under the 1997 Building Regulations (Technical Guidance Document (TGD) – C) all new buildings constructed after July 1998 should have Radon protection measures installed.
In High Radon Areas, a Radon barrier membrane and standby sump with pipework terminating in the footpath should have been installed.
In areas other than High Radon Areas, a standby sump with pipework should have been installed (Areas shown on Radon Map).
Radon Testing.ie recommends that you should still have a Radon test carried out, even if the above Radon protection measures were installed when your House was built, as to achieve an 100% gas tight Radon barrier under building site condition is extremely difficult. Surveys have shown that 14% of new houses with radon barriers fitted have unsafe levels of radon. Therefore Radon Testing.ie recommends that all newer Houses constructed after 1998 be tested. If the levels of Radon are found to be high then standby Radon sump can be activated. (See Radon Reduction Solutions)
7 Day Indicator Test
This test is not as reliable as the 3 month test because of its short duration. Longer tests give a better average reading. However the 7 day test is useful if you want to check a house you’re are buying or letting long term
(See purchasing options).
The only way to know is test.
Know Your Health Risk