Project title: The Role of Geosciences in Radon Risk Communication (GeoRadRisk)
Researcher: Dr Gary Bradley
Radon gas is a known carcinogen, is the second-largest cause of lung cancer in Ireland after smoking and is attributed to 300 new cases each year. Radon is an odourless and colourless gas, which can accumulate indoors. The WHO/EPA action level is >200 Bq/m3: the population-weighted average indoor radon concentration in Ireland is 98 Bq/m3 but concentrations vary with location and the highest recorded level in Ireland to date is 65,000 Bq/m3. Despite the high average concentrations and large numbers of attributed lung cancer cases, response rates to communications efforts to motivate voluntary testing and mitigation have been very poor. However, little is known about the main stakeholder groups (public, policymakers and local government) or what information is key to creating the decision-making resources needed for this.
This project, then, has three phases:
Phase 1: anonymous surveys and focus groups will be conducted with three key stakeholder groups (homeowners, local councils and policymakers)
Phase 2: based on the findings of Phase 1 we will develop customised information packs that highlight radon risk for each of the stakeholder groups and provide details on how to mitigate against the risk.
Phase 3: These information packs will be pilot tested on samples from each stakeholder group to examine their responses to the material. This will be achieved through completion of questionnaires on radon risk perception and behavioural intentions.