1. bookVolume 65 (2020): Issue 2 (June 2020)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1508-5791
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Using a scale model room to assess the contribution of building material of volcanic origin to indoor radon

Published Online: 29 May 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 65 (2020) - Issue 2 (June 2020)
Page range: 71 - 76
Received: 20 Nov 2019
Accepted: 22 Jan 2020
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1508-5791
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

In the frame of Radon rEal time monitoring System and Proactive Indoor Remediation (RESPIRE), a LIFE 2016 project funded by the European Commission, the contribution of building materials of volcanic origin to indoor radon concentration was investigated. First, total gamma radiation and related outdoor dose rates of geological materials in the Caprarola area (Central Italy) were measured to define main sources of radiation. Second, 222Rn and 220Rn exhalation rates of these rocks used as building materials were measured using an accumulation chamber connected in a closed loop with a RAD7 radon monitor. Among others, the very porous “Tufo di Gallese” ignimbrite provided the highest values. This material was then used to construct a scale model room of 62 cm × 50 cm × 35 cm (inner length × width × height, respectively) to assess experimental radon and thoron activity concentration at equilibrium and study the effects of climatic conditions and different coatings on radon levels. A first test was carried out at ambient temperature to determine experimental 222Rn and 220Rn equilibrium activities in the model room, not covered with plaster or other coating materials. Experimental 222Rn equilibrium was recorded in just two days demonstrating that the room “breaths”, exchanging air with the outdoor environment. This determines a dilution of indoor radon concentration. Other experiments showed that inner covers (such as plasterboard and different kinds of paints) partially influence 222Rn but entirely cut the short-lived 220Rn. Finally, decreases in ambient temperature reduce radon exhalation from building material and, in turn, indoor activity concentration.

Keywords

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