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    “Radon gas a problem for Belgium nationwide”

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    A new “Radon Campaign” is to launch on October 1st aiming to encourage everyone to check their homes for the presence of the toxic gas. Anyone can order a detector on the campaign’s website until January 31st, 2016. The price includes sample analysis and potential support in case the radon concentration in the air is too high.

    This year like last, the campaign is not just targeting “at risk” zones in the south of the country. “The radon issue is nationwide,” warns AFCN (Federal Agency for Nuclear Control) in charge of planning the event with Walloon regions and Brussels Environment’s Regional Cell for Indoor Air Quality.

    The 2014 campaign demonstrated that both Flanders and Brussels were equally concerned. Radon concentrations were monitored in 1,161 homes in low risk areas. One in 10 reached a level above 100Bq/m3, which is “the target set by WHO for new builds.” “Lung cancer risks increase once 100Bq/m3 is reached,” adds AFCN.

    Homeowners detecting raised radon levels are advised to air their home more often to make sure the air is renewed more regularly. Depending on individual cases, remedial measures can be undertaken such as blocking radon access or creating an air vacuum under the foundations of the building.

    Radon is an odourless, colourless gas. It exists naturally in the ground and rocks and can enter a house by seeping in through cracks, sanitary plumbing or water sources.

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)