The conference “Radon and Society: from awareness to action” was held in Paris in mid-April, with the support of the World Health Organization. It helped identify the most effective ways of preventing the health hazards related to radon in the habitat, radon being considered the second cause of lung cancer, after smoking, in areas affected by emissions of this radioactive gas.
The diversity of the 150 participants coming from institutions in 17 different countries (regulatory authorities, administrations, international organizations, NGOs, etc.) along with a large turnout by local stakeholders (local councils, associations) produced an enriching exchange of experience on dealing with radon hazards in the habitat at the local level and lively discussion of the successes and difficulties encountered.
The discussions showed that though it is possible to successfully raise public awareness, it is more difficult to carry out measurement campaigns in the habitat and even more difficult to attenuate the radon risk when necessary. They highlighted the decisive role played by local municipalities, since they are in closest contact with residents. The discussions also showed that the most effective approaches are integrated ones that go from raising awareness to remediation and that involve multiple partners (associations, local communities, the medical establishment, building professionals, authorities and experts) and cover several sectors (health, environment, habitat and energy). The lessons learned from this conference will help local and national stakeholders with their efforts to further prevent radon risk in the habitat.
Download a synthesis of the conference (pdf)
Videos of all presentations and roundtables of the conference.