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The European Radon Research and Industry Collaboration Concerted Action (ERRICCA 2) coordinated by BRE was initiated to consider the problem of radon. Radon has been identified as the second largest cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Radon is naturally occurring and outdoors is not really a problem, but if allowed to concentrate within a building it can pose a health risk to occupants. Thirty-five partners representing scientific and industrial organisations in twenty countries joined the scientific led industrial forum.

The forum which ran for three years 2002-2005 was to operate on two levels - European and National to assist in disseminating existing research findings to industry and the public, clarifying industry needs for further research, and for undertaking collaborative work in common topic areas. As such the project has met these targets by successfully:-

  • Bringing European radon professionals together to discuss and debate radon issues, and collaborate with research at both National and European levels.
  • Establishing an annual National Radon Forum in each of the 20 ERRICCA countries.
  • Laying the foundations for a European Radon Website
  • Compiling a series of position papers describing radon in Europe and identifying areas requiring further investigation, research and guidance.
  • Identifying areas where greater harmonization of protocols for radon measurement, mitigation and protection would be both practical and desirable.
  • Furthering the debate regarding radon emanation from common building materials, and testing protocols for radon barrier materials.
  • Laying the foundations for a European radon mitigation solutions database.
  • Preparing guidance to assist professionals involved in buying and selling of homes in radon affected areas in Europe.
  • Raising radon awareness in national and local governments.

In essence the Concerted Action helped to raise awareness of radon and to identify important issues for further action. Radon is a significant health risk, but it is a risk that can be managed. The ERRICCA 2 group effectively laid the foundations for a successful solution to the problem.

But it needs European policy makers to take the issue seriously and fund the necessary additional works to develop a complete European infrastructure to deal with radon. This should include funding targeted research, the development of common protocols and legislation, and funding an open access European Radon Website and a Europe wide radon awareness campaign.

For further information on ERRICCA please contact Chris Scivyer   scivyerc@bre.co.uk