Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 28 January, 1998
Written Answers. - Radon Levels.
Mr. J. Bruton Mr. J. Bruton
574. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will make a statement on the evidence regarding the causing of cancer by naturally occurring radon; if the evidence is conclusive on the matter; the steps, if any, that are being taken to alert the public to the risk of cancer from this source; and if he has set a target for the reduction in the incidents of cancer caused by this factor. [1558/98]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen) Brian Cowen
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): Radon is a naturally occuring radioactive gas. Long-term exposure to very high levels of radon  in an enclosed area can be a contributory factor in increasing the risk of contracting lung cancer, particularly where other factors such as cigarette smoking are involved.
The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland is the statutory body with responsibility for monitoring radiation in the State. The institute is carrying out a national geographically based radon survey which is scheduled for completion this year. The survey will assist in identifying areas at greatest risk of high indoor radon levels. The institute offers a radon measurement and advisory service to householders. The National Cancer Registry records cancer incidence and mortality in Ireland and cross referencing data with information on relevant risk factors such as radon will contribute to research into the epidemiology of cancer.
The Department of the Environment and Local Government has published guidelines which give information to householders and building designers on measures that may be taken to reduce high radon levels in buildings. The Minister for Public Enterprise is considering the introduction of a radon remediation grant scheme this year to assist householders deal with excessively high levels of radon detected on their premises.
Dáil Éireann 486 Written Answers. Radon Levels.