Guidelines for workplaces, public premises, schools and underground works
From early 2019, the Reference level for radon in workplaces in the Republic of Ireland is 300 Bq/m3. This reduction is on foot of regulations to implement Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom (Radiological Protection Act 1991 (Ionising Radiation) Regulations of 2019). Therefore if the measured radon concentration in a workplace is greater than 300 Bq/m3 remedial action is required to reduce those levels to less than 300 Bq/m3.
Radon is a radioactive gas, we can’t see, smell or taste it and you need special equipment to detect it. It comes from the rocks and soil found everywhere in Ireland so that underground areas are more likely to have high radon levels.
Therefore, any frequently occupied basements should also be tested, regardless of whether or not the site is in an Affected Area. Specialist advice should be sought for wholly underground workplaces such as mines, tunnels and caves and if there are internal sources of radon such as geological samples.
Measurement of radon levels using Radtrak²® is generally undertaken in ground floor rooms that are used routinely. Rooms, on higher floors, or those in which people spend little time, do not generally need to be tested.
According to EPA Ireland, the number and location of detectors must be as follows:
- The main entry route for radon into buildings is through cracks and gaps in the floor. Consequently, basement and ground floor rooms are likely to have the highest radon concentrations. Normally, therefore, a workplace survey should be made in workspaces located on the ground floor and in basement levels, where these are occupied.
- It is not necessary to carry out measurements in areas such as corridors, washrooms, toilets, etc. which are unoccupied or occupied infrequently. Generally, an infrequently occupied area is one where an individual is unlikely to spend more than 100 hours per year of their working time.
- The recommended number of detectors per workplace is based on the number of offices or on the floor area to be surveyed and on the workplace type. Recommended measurement densities are set out in Table 1 for different workplace types.
- Where a workplace consists of several different work area types, each type should be considered separately for determining the number of detectors. For example, in a factory the number of detectors to be placed in the offices should be determined by the number of offices on the ground floor or basement areas, while the number of detectors to be placed in warehouses or workshops should be determined independently based on the area of these workspaces (Table 1).
- Radon concentrations can vary significantly between adjacent buildings. Radon concentrations in an adjacent or adjoining building should not, therefore, be taken as indicative of the concentrations in a workspace. Therefore, where a workplace is divided over several adjacent buildings it is necessary that each building be surveyed separately.
- In the case of multi-storey buildings occupied by more than one employer, measurements made on the ground and basement levels would normally be sufficient for assessing compliance with the reference level for all workplaces in the building.
- Where different employers are responsible for different floors of a multi-storey building, employers whose staff are located on upper floors should have radon measurements carried out unless they can confirm that the radon concentrations in the ground floor and basement workplaces do not exceed the reference level.
Workplace Radon Testing – Radtrak²® Product Description
As part of our package you will receive:
- 1 x Radtrak²® detectors per measurement package in a sealed bag
- Clear instructions for use which show where the detectors should be located
- A secure online account with log in details for recording start and finish dates
- Online analysis and measurement report from our accredited laboratory
- An approved measurement of radon levels registered in the list of EPA Ireland radon testing services
- If the measurement has been performed correctly according to instructions, an approved, seasonally adjusted, average annual value for long-term measurement of radon content for the individual measurement points
- Telephone support if you require help
When ordering more than 200 detectors, please request a quotation.
Do you have any questions about radon measurement in workplaces, public premises or schools?
You can always contact us by e-mail.