Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

indoor radon Related Abstracts

4 Status of the European Atlas of Natural Radiation

Authors: M. A. Hernández-Ceballos, G. Cinelli, T. Tollefsen, M. De Cort, P. Bossew, V. Gruber, R. Braga


In 2006, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission started the project of the 'European Atlas of Natural Radiation'. The Atlas aims at preparing a collection of maps of Europe displaying the levels of natural radioactivity caused by different sources (indoor and outdoor radon, cosmic radiation, terrestrial radionuclides, terrestrial gamma radiation, etc). The overall goal of the project is to estimate, in geographical resolution, the annual dose that the public may receive from natural radioactivity, combining all the information from the different radiation components. The first map which has been developed is the European map of indoor radon (Rn) since in most cases Rn is the most important contribution to exposure. New versions of the map are realised when new countries join the project or when already participating countries send new data. We show the latest status of this map which currently includes 25 European countries. Second, the JRC has undertaken to map a variable which measures 'what earth delivers' in terms of Rn. The corresponding quantity is called geogenic radon potential (RP). Due to the heterogeneity of data sources across the Europe there is need to develop a harmonized quantity which at the one hand adequately measures or classifies the RP, and on the other hand is suited to accommodate the variety of input data used to estimate this target quantity. Candidates for input quantities which may serve as predictors of the RP, and for which data are available across Europe, to different extent, are Uranium (U) concentration in rocks and soils, soil gas radon and soil permeability, terrestrial gamma dose rate, geological information and indoor data from ground floor. The European Geogenic Radon Map gives the possibility to characterize areas, on European geographical scale, for radon hazard where indoor radon measurements are not available. Parallel to ongoing work on the European Indoor Radon, Geogenic Radon and Cosmic Radiation Maps, we made progress in the development of maps of terrestrial gamma radiation and U, Th and K concentrations in soil and bedrock. We show the first, preliminary map of the terrestrial gamma dose rate, estimated using the data of ambient dose equivalent rate available from the EURDEP system (about 5000 fixed monitoring stations across Europe). Also, the first maps of U, Th, and K concentrations in soil and bedrock are shown in the present work.

Keywords: Mapping, Europe, natural radiation, indoor radon

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3 Indoor Radon Concentrations in the High Levels of Uranium Deposit of Phanom and Ko Pha-Ngan Districts, Surat Thani Province, Thailand

Authors: Kanokkan Titipornpun, Tripob Bhongsuwan, Jan Gimsa, Somphorn Sriarpanon, Apinun Titipornpun, Noodchanath Kongchouy


The Phanom and Ko Pha-ngan districts of Surat Thani province are known for their high atmospheric radon concentrations from different sources. While Phanom district is located in an active fault zone, the main radon source in Ko Pha-ngan district is the high amounts of equivalent uranium in the ground surface. Survey measurements of the indoor radon concentrations have been carried out in 105 dwellings and 93 workplaces, using CR-39 detectors that were exposed to indoor radon for forty days. Alpha tracks were made visible by chemical etching and counted manually under an optical microscope. The indoor radon concentrations in the two districts were found to vary between 9 and 63 Bq m-3 (Phanom) and 12 and 645 Bq m-3 (Ko Pha-ngan). The geometric mean radon concentration in Ko Pha-ngan district (51±2 Bq m-3) was significantly higher than in the Phanom district (26±1 Bq m-3) at a significance level of p<0.05 (t-test for independent samples). Nevertheless, only in two dwellings (1%), located in Ko Pha-ngan district, radon concentrations (177 and 645 Bq m-3) were found to exceed the limit recommended by the US EPA of 148 Bq m-3. The two houses are probably located near to radon sources which, in combination with low air convection, led to increased indoor levels of radon. Our study also shows that the geometric mean radon concentration was higher in workplaces than in dwellings (0.05 significance level) in both districts.

Keywords: indoor radon, CR-39 detector, active fault zone, equivalent uranium

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2 Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis for Radon Dispersion Study and Mitigation

Authors: A. K. Visnuprasad, P. J. Jojo, Reshma Bhaskaran


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to simulate the distribution of indoor radon concentration in a living room with elevated levels of radon concentration which varies from 22 Bqm-3 to 1533 Bqm-3 in 24 hours. Finite volume method (FVM) was used for the simulation. The simulation results were experimentally validated at 16 points in two horizontal planes (y=1.4m & y=2.0m) using pin-hole dosimeters and at 3 points using scintillation radon monitor (SRM). Passive measurement using pin-hole dosimeters were performed in all seasons. Another simulation was done to find a suitable position for a passive ventilation system for the effective mitigation of radon.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, indoor radon, radon flux, ventilation rate, pin-hole dosimeter

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1 A Comparative Study of Indoor Radon Concentrations between Dwellings and Workplaces in the Ko Samui District, Surat Thani Province, Southern Thailand

Authors: Kanokkan Titipornpun, Tripob Bhongsuwan, Jan Gimsa


The Ko Samui district of Surat Thani province is located in the high amounts of equivalent uranium in the ground surface that is the source of radon. Our research in the Ko Samui district aimed at comparing the indoor radon concentrations between dwellings and workplaces. Measurements of indoor radon concentrations were carried out in 46 dwellings and 127 workplaces, using CR-39 alpha-track detectors in closed-cup. A total of 173 detectors were distributed in 7 sub-districts. The detectors were placed in bedrooms of dwellings and workrooms of workplaces. All detectors were exposed to airborne radon for 90 days. After exposure, the alpha tracks were made visible by chemical etching before they were manually counted under an optical microscope. The track densities were assumed to be correlated with the radon concentration levels. We found that the radon concentrations could be well described by a log-normal distribution. Most concentrations (37%) were found in the range between 16 and 30 Bq.m-3. The radon concentrations in dwellings and workplaces varied from a minimum of 11 Bq.m-3 to a maximum of 305 Bq.m-3. The minimum (11 Bq.m-3) and maximum (305 Bq.m-3) values of indoor radon concentrations were found in a workplace and a dwelling, respectively. Only for four samples (3%), the indoor radon concentrations were found to be higher than the reference level recommended by the WHO (100 Bq.m-3). The overall geometric mean in the surveyed area was 32.6±1.65 Bq.m-3, which was lower than the worldwide average (39 Bq.m-3). The statistic comparison of the geometric mean indoor radon concentrations between dwellings and workplaces showed that the geometric mean in dwellings (46.0±1.55 Bq.m-3) was significantly higher than in workplaces (28.8±1.58 Bq.m-3) at the 0.05 level. Moreover, our study found that the majority of the bedrooms in dwellings had a closed atmosphere, resulting in poorer ventilation than in most of the workplaces that had access to air flow through open doors and windows at daytime. We consider this to be the main reason for the higher geometric mean indoor radon concentration in dwellings compared to workplaces.

Keywords: indoor radon, CR-39 detector, radon in dwelling, radon in workplace

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