21Jan / 2013
On the 17th January, the draft national radon control strategy was launched at the National Radon Forum in Dublin, Ireland. It is estimated 200 premature deaths per year are a result of exposure to elevated radon concentrations. In its draft strategy the Irish Government plan to shake up awareness for radon in the following 6 areas:
- Radon prevention in new buildings;
- Use of property transactions (sales and rental) to drive action on radon;
- Raising radon awareness and encouraging individual action on radon;
- Supporting individual householders and employers with high radon results;
- Promoting confidence in radon services, and;
- Addressing radon in workplaces and public buildings.
In particular the draft considers the problem of installation of measures (and keeping them protected from follow on-works) – a problem we face in England. It is planned that all site staff and designers working on radon protection will be required to attend a suite of training modules being developed by the Construction Industry Federation and that the proposed Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2012 will be the likely delivery mechanism for this to happen. Indeed the proposed building control regulations will require the certification and ‘sign off’ by a competent person.
For existing homes and properties, it is recommended that the conveyancing process be used to pass information relating to radon testing and protection. However, it is not clear if this will be for all properties or limited to the higher risk areas.
The question is, can and will the UK follow suit to reduce the estimated 1,100 premature deaths caused be elevated radon exposure? Our Approved Document C for Building Regulations is due this year but will it go far enough to get developers to pay attention? If not, maybe the consideration of potential litigation may work – after all, increased and elevated radon in the home is a design and construction failure to deal with the issue – isn’t it!
Further information can be found here: http://www.rpii.ie/Site/Media/Press-Releases/Government-on-course-to-tackle-cancer-causing-rado.aspx
Or alternatively see our radon page.
Testing for radon in the home is relatively low cost and the best method to find out if levels are high. For general testing kits for the home it is recommended to buy one from an Health Protection Agency approved laboratory, such as Radosure. However, should you have a large or complex building or a property portfolio that you wish to be tested for radon then please contact ground-gas solutions (GGS) for further details here.