Since last year, Austria has had its own Radon Protection Ordinance, which, as part of the Radiation Protection Act, is intended to ensure the long-term protection of Austrians against the harmful effects of the noble gas radon. The results of the risk barometer are to form the basis for future communication measures.
In general, Austrians consider their state of health to be good. With regard to the level of information about health risks, it is shown that the own level of information is assessed as better than the average level of information. Concerns about diseases, other risk factors, nutrition and smoking were identified as particularly strong this year. The health risks of stress, blood pressure and accidents, on the other hand, were judged to be of less concern.
The majority of respondents protect themselves from risk factors that could have an impact on health. With regard to risk assessment, the opinions of experts are predominantly relied upon.
Despite a low level of knowledge regarding radon in the Austrian population, the gas is perceived as a health risk. However, almost half of the participants are undecided or do not know whether radon exposure in buildings represents a significant health risk for them.
More than 80% say they place great importance on the quality of indoor air as well as on the ventilation of their own rooms. The vast majority of participants would also take immediate action to reduce radon concentrations in their homes. For two-thirds, this is a priority. However, 61% report that the decision to take action is not entirely up to them.
The assessment of personal risk in relation to ionizing radiation is highest for nuclear power plants, followed by regions with high natural radioactivity. Survey participants perceive the risk to be lowest for safety portals. In addition, the survey investigated the extent to which the population feels informed about the possible health risks associated with radon. It also turns out that the Internet, television and family doctors are among the main sources of information. The survey participants trust social media the least.