Dr Gary Bradley
- Postdoctoral Researcher
Gary is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the iCrag Public Perception and Understanding research platform. He completed his PhD in Environmental Psychology at Queen’s University, Belfast (2003)), examining risk perception and communication on electromagnetic fields, under the late Prof. Noel Sheehy. His subsequent experience includes research in human behaviour in fire (FireSERT Institute, Ulster University), youth work (Ulster University) and medicines adherence (QUB, Pharmacy). He is an experienced lecturer, coach and consultant and his research interests broadly encompasses decision-making and behavioural change, merging psychological approaches and themes across the environment health and the arts.
Radon is a naturally occurring, featureless gas released from the ground into the atmosphere. Although Radon normally dissipates without causing harm, it can build up indoors to unsafe levels and continued exposure may, over time, contribute to lung cancer. While Radon levels can be lowered in homes to safe levels with testing and easy-to-install solutions, uptake of testing and mitigation among Irish residents is low. This research aims to gain a better understanding of how policymakers, local government officials and residents can work together to improve testing uptake and install solutions where Radon levels are found to be high.
This proposed research seeks to develop a better understanding of geoscience communication and decision-making surrounding Radon testing and remediation. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, produced by Uranium decay, which emanates from subsurface rock, soil and water. Exposure to indoor radon and its daughter products is associated with an elevated risk of developing lung cancer. Three hundred radon-related lung cancer cases are diagnosed in Ireland every year with an estimated cost of 400 million Euro. Despite 460,000 people living in radon-prone areas in Ireland, only around 40,000 homes have been tested. The Irish radon level average is 98% and the residential action level for mitigation is 200 Bq m-3. Despite the presence of high levels in some areas, voluntary testing and mitigation by residents takes place in less than 25% of these cases. This research aims to understand gaps in stakeholder communication and uptake in residential testing and mitigation and will be a key tool in geoscience knowledge transfer and in promoting participative decision-making between policy makers, local government officials and the general public.
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Earth Science in Society
- Public Perception