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A New Perspective on Radon Mapping

Trinity College Dublin performed an indoor radon assessment on 32,000 residences and took a different approach with the findings. Instead of mapping areas based on radon concentration levels, they devised a map indicating ‘Radon Priority Areas’ based on the adverse health effects of radon. The color coding on the map relates to a number of lung cancer cases estimated for a specific area, based on area population and indoor radon levels.

Based on the assessment of homes in Ireland, areas within counties Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford, Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Galway are at risk for elevated levels of radon gas. Currently the EU uses the World Health Organization’s action level of 200 Bq/m³, and although some homes tested much higher and lower, typically the results ranged from 21 to 338 Bq/m³.

Approximately 280 of the 2,300 yearly lung cancer cases in Ireland are related to indoor radon exposure. That means indoor radon exposure accounts for over 12% of the most deadly types of cancer cases, lung cancer.

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