Generation, transport and distribution of radon as a pollutant in the natural environment.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which has been classified as a pollutant in the natural and built environments and is a Class 1 carcinogen. It is a colourless, odourless gas and can only be detected using specialist measurement techniques. Radon constitutes by far the greatest source of ionizing radiation to the general public. It is thought to be directly responsible for the deaths of two hundred and fifty people annually in Ireland alone and tens of thousands of people globally.
Ireland has some of the highest radon levels in Europe and the eighth highest average indoor concentration (89 becquerels per cubic metre [Bq/m3]) in the world. By gaining a better understanding of the processes affecting the generation, transport and distribution of radon as a pollutant in the natural environment we help to tackle global challenges in air, soil and water pollution with respect to radiological environmental protection and ecosystem (including human) health.