There are growing concerns in Granard over the ill effects of radiation from telecommunication masts in the north Longford town.
Recently councillors called for the provision of tests that would determine radon levels in homes around the town and its environs.
Granard Town Council Clerk, Anne Glancy indicated that she had received a letter from the telecommunications institute in respect of the matter and 16 houses in the area had been tested for the gas levels.
“Four of those tested positive for radon gas and a map shows that Granard is in an area that is high in radon,” she said.
Cllr Maura Kilbride-Harkin (FG) proposed that they should write to Longford County Council requesting that all houses be tested for radon gas levels. “All houses in this county need to be tested for radon gas,” she said, adding that the matter should be raised with the local authority.
Cllr Tommy Stokes (Ind) commented, “Writing to Longford Co Council is definitely a good idea. At least by doing this we can help everyone to make provision to protect themselves from radon gas into the future.”
According to the radon map of Ireland, north Longford is in a “high risk” area. This, say the experts is an area where “it is predicted that 10% or more of homes will exceed the Reference Level of 200 Bq/m3.”
A spokesperson said, “Radon can enter a building from the ground through small cracks in floors and through gaps around pipes or cables. The gas tends to be sucked from the ground into a building because the indoor air pressure is usually slightly lower than outdoors. This pressure difference occurs because warm indoor air is less dense than outdoor air. The only way to know if radon is a problem in your home is by having a radon test carried out. Radon levels can vary a lot between buildings so, even if your neighbours have measured radon in their home, you should also have your home tested.”