The Director General of GAEC Prof. B.J.B Nyarko inspecting the equipment at the RPI laboratory. 

 

Ghana through the Radiation Protection Institute (RPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has taken delivery of a top-of-the-range fully automated ultramodern laboratory equipment for monitoring radon gas.

The equipment Radosys RadoMeter 2000, is a system that comes with full laboratory solutions for measuring deadly radon gas (which is the second leading cause of lung cancer apart from smoking) levels. It has an inbuilt fully automated Radosys Watch Dog software, Microscope, CR-39 passive detectors, among others.

Radosys RadoMeter 2000 laboratory equipment for measuring radon gas 

In a short ceremony held at GAEC, in Accra, to officially receive the items, the Director of RPI, Prof. E.O Darko, disclosed that Ghana is now at par with top laboratories in Europe, Asia, North America and the rest of the world to ensure safe radon levels in offices, residential buildings as well as the mining, oil and gas, and other extractive industries.

“The facility is an ultra-modern device that will be used to measure the concentrations (levels) of Radon Gas in Buildings (i.e. homes, offices, factories etc.), underground mining sites, among others”, he added.

Prof. Darko explained that the facility is environmentally friendly and can perform multiple tasks concurrently in real time.

“This has by far taken away the troubles of manual sample analysis and it can measure approximately 400 to 1600 exposed detectors in a day”, he revealed.

A Senior Research Scientist at RPI, Dr. Francis Otoo, who initiated the project, said GAEC has now met all the conditions necessary to launch a nation-wide radon monitoring exercise as well as mapping campaigns in Ghana and neighboring countries.

He disclosed that as part of the process to start using the equipment, a radon specialist from Radosys Atlantic, Portugal, helped in the installation of the equipment and also engaged selected RPI Scientists and Technologists in a weeklong training programme on its use.

Dr. Otoo stated that GAEC is not keen on the financial benefits of the facility per se, but is focused on finding solutions or reducing the risks associated with deadly radon gas which comes as a result of the decay of naturally occurring uranium present in the soil. This gas then emanates into enclosed areas such as rooms, offices, mining sites, etc. and can cause lung cancer in exposed persons.

The Director General of GAEC, Prof. BJB Nyarko, in a short statement commended RPI for the establishment of the laboratory and said this development has placed Ghana ahead of other African countries as part of efforts to enhance health and safety in radiation monitoring.

The radon Specialist, Paulo Gustavo Alecrim Norte Pinto, from Radosys Atlantic, Portugal, also commended Ghana for taking this bold step to obtain this multi-tasking automated RadoMeter 2000 facility. He expressed confidence in the rich human resource available at GAEC, and said he has no doubt that the facility will be fully utilized by Ghana.

He called on other African countries to emulate Ghana’s example to help fight lung cancers as a result of inhalation of this deadly gas.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey, Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA)-GAEC