MLA calls on DoE to fund NW radon tests

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DUP MLA Gary Middleton has called on the Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan to fund radon testing across the North West saying it is “deeply concerning that over 30 per cent of homes in the Bready, Cullion and Donemana areas are being exposed to high levels” of the lung cancer causing gas.

The Sentinel recently revealed how over 30 per cent of homes in the Bready, Cullion and Donemana area are exposed to the lung cancer causing gas radon at levels where radiation experts recommend householders take protective action.

Elsewhere, between 10 and 30 per cent of homes in much of Londonderry, including most of the Waterside and the rural village of Claudy are also deemed to be high risk.

Responding to the revelations Mr Middleton said the situation in the city’s rural hinterland on the border with Tyrone was concerning.

“I am also aware that many other homes within the Londonderry area and rural areas are also at high risk,” he said.

“With such a serious increase in the number of homes affected, I believe Minister Durkan needs to take urgent action to ensure that measures are put in place to assist residents with preventative measures.

“Over past years the DOE carried out an awareness campaign in the areas affected, offering households free radon testing. Around 27,000 households had taken up the offer at the time. As a member of the Environment Committee at Stormont, I will be raising this issue at committee and will be calling for a similar campaign to be launched to raise awareness and for free testing to be made available.”