asked the Minister for Energy if his attention has been drawn to reports of excess levels of radon gas present in the environment in County Mayo; the investigation, if any, he has carried out regarding this matter; the proposals, if any, he has to deal with the matter in future; if he has any proposals to make an information campaign available to people giving details of the consequences of excessive radon gas levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Written Answers. - Radon Gas.
I am aware that high levels of radon gas accumulate in the environment of some buildings in certain parts of the country including parts of County Mayo.
A limited national survey has been carried out by Dr. J. McLaughlin, UCD, a leading authority on the subject, to ascertain the extent of the problem. The results of this survey are at present being analysed by University College Dublin in consultation with the Geological Survey Office. In the meantime, further monitoring of radon levels is being carried out to augment the results of the preliminary survey. An Interdepartmental Committee on Radon, which includes officials from the Departments of Energy, Environment and Health, the Nuclear Energy Board and Dr. J. McLaughlin, is considering the matter with a view to making appropriate recommendations. It appears likely at this stage that the question of any remedial measures that need to be taken will be primarily a matter for the Minister for the Environment.
The problem of the accumulation of radon in some buildings is a relatively recently identified one internationally and my Department and the Nuclear Energy Board are monitoring closely the actions being taken and research being undertaken in other countries.