Dangerous radioactive gas detected on Waterford coastline

The Green Party are calling for action

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@waterfordlive.ie

Dangerous radioactive gas detected on Waterford coastline

Dangerous radioactive gas detected on Waterford coastline

Parts of the Waterford coastline have one of the highest levels of radon gas exposure in the country, according to local Green party representative, Marc Ó Cathasaigh.

He says the Green Party's Healthy Homes bill announced this week aims to tackle the danger posed by the dangerous gas.

Marc Ó Cathasaigh has called for cross-party support from all elected representatives in the south-east for the bill, which, if passed, will require landlords to test their property for radon gas and to take action if the deadly gas is found.

Radon is a colourless, odourless but radioactive gas that’s believed to responsible for as many as 250 deaths per year through lung cancer, more than road traffic accidents, according to Marc.

It’s a particular issue along the Waterford coastline, according to Green Party representative, Marc Ó Cathasaigh. “The EPA’s Radon Map identifies the area stretching from Tramore to Kilmacthomas to be a High Radon Area, with over 20% of homes believed to exceed the Reference Level of 200 bequerel per cubic metre (Bq/m3)."

"To put that in context, the Reference Level is associated with a 1 in 50 chance of developing lung cancer - higher levels equate to much higher risk.”

Mr. Ó Cathasaigh, who will be contesting the next local elections in the Tramore/Waterford City West ward, believes the Healthy Homes bill can help address this significant public health issue.  

“The tragedy with radon gas is that in many cases the first time a family finds out it is a problem in their house is when someone gets a lung cancer diagnosis. At the moment, there is no legal requirement for landlords to test their homes for radon. Considering testing generally costs less than €50, we believe this is a small price for landlords to pay to ensure they’re providing safe and healthy homes for their tenants," he said.

"The Healthy Homes Bill also requires the Government to introduce regulations to require a minimum energy standard in rented homes, which would be phased in over time."