Radon Action Plan
The Radon Action Plan serves as a basic guideline for protection against radon in Austria. With the help of the Radon Action Plan, the radon exposure of the Austrian population is to be reduced and thus the lung cancer rate is to be lowered.
The radon action plan serves as a basic guideline for protection against radon in Austria. The Radon Action Plan is intended to improve the coordination of Austria's existing activities in radon protection. Areas in need of action are evaluated and possible strategies for the implementation of new or the improvement of existing radon protection measures are identified. Thus, the radon action plan is an aid for decision makers:in relation to the decisions to be made in the legal, scientific and practical fields. This Radon Action Plan was approved by the Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Leonore Gewessler, on July 13, 2021.
Radon in General
Radon is a radioactive noble gas formed in rock and soil by radioactive decay from naturally occurring uranium. Radon is invisible, odorless and tasteless. The noble gas transforms into other radioactive elements, its decay products, through radioactive decay. Radon is harmless outdoors, while it can accumulate in buildings and lead to not insignificant radiation exposure.
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Why is a radon action plan needed?
The aim of the radon action plan is to reduce the radon exposure of the population in Austria. The lung cancer rate caused by radon is to be reduced.
In order to reduce this radiation exposure, the Radon Action Plan identifies eight topics where action is needed:
- Evaluation of the radon risk of the Austrian population.
- Radon protection in new buildings
- Radon protection in existing residential buildings
- Radon protection at workplaces and in publicly accessible buildings
- Radon protection in education and training
- Strengthening radon awareness
- Linking radon protection with other topics
- Evaluation and adaptation of legislation and standards.
In the document, a goal is formulated for each of these topics, the status as well as the need for action is shown, the responsibility is defined, and possible strategies for achieving the goal are listed. Some of these strategies are already being implemented. For most of the topics, the responsibility lies with the Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. However, there are some topics that concern matters of building law and building technology, such as radon protection in new buildings and existing residential buildings, and therefore fall within the competence of the federal provinces.
The radon action plan serves to implement Section 93 of the Radiation Protection Act 2020. In accordance with the requirements of Directive 2013/59/Euratom, the items listed in Annex XVIII of the Directive were taken into consideration when preparing this radon action plan.
Pursuant to Section 94 of the Radiation Protection Act 2020, the Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology must provide information on the main contents of the radon action plan and the implementation strategies.