ASN's national action plan for management of the radon risk
ASN published the 2011-2015 national action plan for management of the radon risk. This document is the result of collaboration between ASN, the ministries responsible for health, housing and labour and the partner organisations (Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety - IRSN, French Health Monitoring Institute - InVS, Building Industry Scientific and Technical Centre - CSTB, Regional Council of the Limousin département). This second action plan follows on from the 2005-2008 plan, the results of which were published by ASN in 2009.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which emanates from granite and volcanic subsoils. In enclosed spaces, radon can build up and lead to an increased risk of lung cancer.
The 2011-2015 national action plan emphasises the reduction of exposure in existing residential buildings and the application of new construction rules for new buildings, in order to minimise human exposure as far as possible.
This action plan comprises 30 measures divided into 5 key areas:
1. Management of the radon risk in existing residential buildings, including in particular:
- the drafting of regulatory texts defining the procedures for implementing article L. 1333-10 of the Public Health Code concerning the new measures for managing the radon risk in existing residential buildings;
- experimentation of a system to support the new regulations in three pilot zones;
- the drafting of decision-making guidelines for the local authorities.
2. The drafting of regulations for new-build residential buildings, in particular with regard to construction rules.
3. Monitoring the regulations for places open to the public and the regulations applicable to workers.
4. Development of new management tools; the implementation of an operational system for diagnostics in buildings and for the performance of work by professionals, for example including:
- a system for certification of building technical diagnostic specialists;
- a new map of priority geographical areas;
- completion of the standardisation of radon measurement methods.
5. Coordination of study and research policy, including the study into the feasibility of a rapid measurement to assess the potential for radon entering the home.
The success of this national action plan depends on active collaboration by the various national and local stakeholders concerned by this subject. A number of measures will therefore be based on regional and local initiatives, for example as part of the regional “health-environment” plans (PRSE). This will be a means of enhancing the expertise of the local stakeholders involved (State services, local authorities, professional health associations, technical, real estate and building professionals, etc.), of identifying and developing new players and promoting the sharing of this expertise.
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