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Dettagli della rivista
Formato
Rivista
eISSN
1508-5791
Pubblicato per la prima volta
25 Mar 2014
Periodo di pubblicazione
4 volte all'anno
Lingue
Inglese

Cerca

Volume 61 (2016): Edizione 3 (September 2016)

Dettagli della rivista
Formato
Rivista
eISSN
1508-5791
Pubblicato per la prima volta
25 Mar 2014
Periodo di pubblicazione
4 volte all'anno
Lingue
Inglese

Cerca

26 Articoli
Open Access

Soil heat flux and air temperature as factors of radon (Rn-222) concentration in the near-ground air layer

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 231 - 237

Astratto

Abstract

A unique, highly time-resolved, and synchronous three-year dataset of near-surface atmospheric radon-222 as well as soil heat flux and air temperature measurements at two sites (rural and urban) in Central Poland are investigated. The recognition of temporal variability of Rn-222 and selected meteorological variables in the urban and rural areas served to create two statistical models for estimation of this radionuclide concentration at 2 m a.g.l. The description of the relationships between the variables for individual months was established on the basis of an exponential function and an exponential function with time derivative of predictor to account for the hysteresis issue. The model with time derivative provided better results. The weakest fitting of modelled data to empirical ones is observed for the winter months. During subsequent seasons, air temperature as well as QG-driven (soil heat flux) models exhibited very high agreement with the empirical data (MBE, RMSE, MAE, and ‘index of agreement’ by Willmott were used to evaluate the models). A restriction in the use of QG for Rn-222 concentration was observed only in winter in the case of snow cover occurrence, which reduces the daily QG variability.

Parole chiave

  • air temperature
  • Central Poland
  • exponential function
  • Rn-222
  • soil heat flux
Open Access

The influence of air conditioning changes on the effective dose due to radon and its short-lived decay products

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 239 - 244

Astratto

Abstract

Most people spend the majority of their time in indoor environments where the level of harmful pollutants is often significantly higher than outdoors. Radon (222Rn) and its decay products are the example of radioactive pollutants. These radioisotopes are the main source of ionizing radiation in non-industrial buildings. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of air-conditioning system on radon and its progeny concentrations and thus on the effective dose. The measurements were carried out in the auditorium at the Environmental Engineering Faculty (Lublin University of Technology, Poland). Measurements of radon and its progeny (in attached and unattached fractions) as well as measurements of the following indoor air parameters were performed in two air-conditioning (AC) operation modes: AC ON and AC ON/OFF. The air supply rate and air recirculation were taken into consideration. The separation of radon progeny into attached and unattached fractions allowed for determining, respectively, the dose conversion factor (DCF) and the inhalation dose for teachers and students in the auditorium. A considerable increase of the mean radon progeny concentrations from 1.2 Bq/m3 to 5.0 Bq/m3 was observed in the AC ON/OFF mode compared to the AC ON mode. This also resulted in the increase of the inhalation dose from 0.005 mSv/y to 0.016 mSv/y (for 200 h/year). Furthermore, the change of the air recirculation rate from 0% to 80% resulted in a decrease of the mean radon concentration from 30 Bq/m3 to 12 Bq/m3 and the reduction of the mean radon progeny concentration from 1.4 Bq/m3 to 0.8 Bq/m3. This resulted in the reduction of the inhalation dose from 0.006 mSv/y to 0.003 mSv/y.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • radon progeny
  • attached and unattached fraction of radon progeny
  • dose conversion factor
Open Access

Radon in the dry carbon dioxide spa of Mátraderecske, Hungary

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 245 - 249

Astratto

Abstract

The final product of a post-volcanic activity is the exhalation of low-temperature (<100°C) gases containing mostly carbon dioxide. The phenomenon is called mofettes, which are often used for therapeutic treatments in the form of dry CO2 spas. Along its pathway to the surface, the deep origin gas also intakes different radon isotopes from the rocks and soils; therefore, the risks associated with radon exposures should also be a concern. In this work, we have found that the 222Rn activity concentration in the mofette gas of Mátraderecske is particularly high; it is in the order of 200 kBq·m−3. However, owing to the carefully designed flow pattern of mofette gas and fresh air, the radon level is about 1 kBq·m−3 at the breath level of the staff, accompanying the treatment, which is the radon reference level for workers in Hungary. We have also found that in this dry spa, radon is a good tracer of CO2; therefore, it can be used to monitor the CO2 distribution in the treatment pools.

Parole chiave

  • dry CO spa
  • mofette
  • radon
  • tracer
Open Access

Main results of the international intercomparison of passive radon detectors under field conditions in Marie Curie’s tunnel in Lurisia (Italy)

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 251 - 256

Astratto

Abstract

In recent years a large number of radon intercomparison exercises has been organized; most of them took place in radon chambers, in reference atmosphere of the parameter to control (i.e. radon gas) under temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure stable conditions. In 2014, in the tunnel belonging to the Lurisia spas complex (Lurisia, Piedmont, Italy), with natural high concentrations of uranium and radon gas, an intercomparison exercise has been held to give to radon measurement services and laboratories the possibility to test their passive systems under field conditions, which are less controlled and much more challenging. The response of laboratories was very positive: 46 participants from 10 European countries and 3 non-European countries. Generally about 80% of results of participants were considered acceptable even if it was observed a global trend of a substantial underestimation of the actual radon concentration.

Parole chiave

  • in-field conditions
  • intercomparison
  • passive detectors
  • radon
Open Access

Metrological aspects of international intercomparison of passive radon detectors under field conditions in Marie Curie’s tunnel in Lurisia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 257 - 261

Astratto

Abstract

In 2014, an intercomparison exercise of passive radon detectors under field conditions in the Marie Curie’s tunnel belonging to the Lurisia spas complex (Lurisia, Piedmont, Italy) has been held. Radon activity concentration in the tunnel was measured with six radon active monitors, previously calibrated at ENEA-INMRI facilities. In the present paper, a synthesis of the metrological aspects of the intercomparison is given. Indeed particular attention was paid to metrological characterization of radon monitors and their response upon ambient conditions. Correction factors have been defined to be applied when measurements are performed in severe environmental conditions. In particular, it has been found that monitors are particularly sensitive to the effect of air density: the AlphaGUARD (AG-SAPHYMO, GmbH) efficiency decreases with the air density, while for the MR1 PLUS (Tesys, Italy), the opposite applies. When the reference monitors were placed into the Marie Curie’s tunnel, to the recorded average radon concentrations correction factors were applied. After the correction the difference between data coming from AG and MR1 PLUS is within the 1.7%.

Parole chiave

  • active monitors
  • calibration
  • intercomparison
  • radon
Open Access

Lung cancer mortality and radon exposure in Russia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 263 - 268

Astratto

Abstract

The association between the lung cancer and indoor radon exposure in Russian population was investigated. The average indoor radon concentration for each region was estimated using the annual reports issued by the Saint-Petersburg Ramzaev Research Institute of Radiation Hygiene for the period 2008–2013. The average standardized lung cancer mortalities among males and females were estimated using the reports of the Moscow Hertzen Cancer Research Institute for the period 2008–2012. The relative risk (RR) was estimated as a ratio between the average mortality within seven exposure intervals and background mortality. The slope factors of linear dependence between the indoor radon exposure and lung cancer RR are 0.026 (−0.11÷0.17) and 0.83 (0.52–1.12) per radon concentration 100 Bq/m3 for males and females, respectively (with 90% confidence interval). The obtained results can be explained by the confounding effect of tobacco smoking. Significant excess risk of lung cancer in female population can be associated with radon exposure and low prevalence of smoking.

Parole chiave

  • lung cancer
  • radon
  • relative risk
  • smoking
Open Access

Investigation of the influence of chamber construction parameters on radon exhalation rate

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 269 - 273

Astratto

Abstract

Radon exhalation from ground is a process dependent on the emanation and migration of radon through ambient air. Most studies on radon exhalation from soil were performed regarding the influence of meteorological and soil parameters. As radon exhalation rate can be affected by the internal properties of the sample, it may also be influenced by the exhalation chamber geometry such as volume-to-area (V/S) ratio or other construction parameters. The measurements of radon exhalation from soil were made using different constructions of accumulation chamber and two types of radon monitors: RAD7 (Durridge) and AlphaGUARD PQ2000PRO (Genitron). The measurements were performed on one site in two locations and approximately at the same time. The first tests did not show the correlations of exhalation rate values and the chamber’s construction parameters and their geometrical dimensions. However, when examining the results, it seems that there are still too many factors that might have affected the process of radon exhalation. The future experiments are planned to be conducted in controlled laboratory conditions.

Parole chiave

  • accumulation chambers
  • exhalation rate
  • measurement techniques
  • radon
Open Access

The Laboratory of Natural Radiation (LNR) – a place to test radon instruments under variable conditions of radon concentration and climatic variables

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 275 - 280

Astratto

Abstract

The publication of the new European Union Basic Safety Standards represents a remarkable milestone in the field of radiological protection in terms of adding radon exposure to this framework. Therefore, the coming years will bring the need to measure radon not only in the workplaces but also in the living spaces as a direct outcome of the application of the new EU Directive. So, the importance of having reliable instruments is evident and interlaboratory exercises are becoming more and more popular. However, most of them are carried out under constant conditions of meteorological variables. We present in this paper a facility to broaden the interlaboratory comparisons further by adding the study of radon exposures under real conditions of changes in climatic parameters. In addition, the facility has the possibility to verify the response of radon monitors when the radon concentration changes several orders of magnitude in a short period of time. Our work shows some results of one of the interlaboratory exercises carried out in the premises, where the radon levels were rather homogeneous in the testing room.

Parole chiave

  • active monitors
  • interlaboratory comparison
  • radon
Open Access

Outdoor 222Rn behaviour in different areas of Slovakia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 281 - 288

Astratto

Abstract

Radon activity concentration (RAC) in the outdoor atmosphere was monitored in four localities of Slovakia. The distance between the localities were up to 130 km. The localities had a diverse orography, ranging from flatland to hilly terrain. A significant influence of orography and 226Ra and 222Rn content in soil on diurnal time series of RAC was found. A simple approach of determining radon exhalation rate from soil based on the increase of RAC from daily minima to maxima and removal characteristic of radon is presented. A linear dependency between radon exhalation rate from the soil and RAC in the soil gas at a depth of 0.8 m was found for sandy soils.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • activity concentration
  • exhalation rate
  • orography
Open Access

Radon permeability of insulating building materials

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 289 - 293

Astratto

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the radon permeability coefficient of insulating building materials. Eleven insulating materials were tested. A research setup was developed and it was as follows: a tested material was tightly set on the receiver box’s hole and placed into the radon chamber. The measurements showed that for various insulating materials, radon permeability coefficient varies from 1.26 × 10−10 m2/s for film-like materials to 9.95 × 10−8 m2/s for roofing papers. According to our calculations of all insulating materials, the foil-type insulating materials to ensure the best protection against radon flow from the ground. Comparison of different types of building materials shows that the insulating building materials ensure better radiological protection than regular building constructions materials.

Parole chiave

  • insulating building materials
  • permeability
  • radon
  • transmittance
Open Access

Analysis of simultaneous time series of indoor, outdoor and soil air radon concentrations, meteorological and seismic data

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 295 - 302

Astratto

Abstract

It is well known that the temporal dynamic of indoor and outdoor radon concentrations show complex patterns, which are partly not easy to interpret. Clearly, for physical reasons, they must be related to possibly variable conditions of radon generation, migration and atmospheric dispersion and accumulation. The aim of this study was to analyse long-time series of simultaneously measured indoor and outdoor radon concentrations, together with environmental quantities, which may act as control variables of Rn. The study was performed in Chiba, Japan, using two ionization chambers for parallel indoor and outdoor radon concentrations measurements over 4 years. Meteorological and seismic data were obtained from the Japan Metrological Agency (JMA).

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • time series
  • meteorological conditions
  • seismic
Open Access

Preliminary results of radon survey in thermal spas in V4 countries

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 303 - 306

Astratto

Abstract

Radon concentration was measured in 11 thermal spas in Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia). The results showed that in 84% of spas radon activity concentration is less than 400 Bq·m−3. However, areas with radon activity concentration exceeding 1000 Bq·m−3 were found in the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well. Preliminary analyses indicated that the highest radon activities in spas were found in places with thermal pools. Radon concentration in waters used in spas ranged from 0.5 Bq/l to 384 Bq/l. The influence of radon activity concentration in water on radon activity in the air inside the spa was observed. It was found to increase indoor radon with increasing radon in the waters. Correlation with indoor radon and radon in water was more significant for baths and less significant for pool waters. In the cases filling of the bath from water taps, significantly contribute to the increased radon was observed in the pool and bath areas of the spa.

Parole chiave

  • indoor radon
  • thermal spas
  • thermal water
Open Access

Radon problems in mining and post-mining areas in Upper Silesia region, Poland

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 307 - 313

Astratto

Abstract

The new basic safety standards (BSS) Directive 2013/59/Euratom [1] puts EU member states under an obligation to establish, amongst others, national radon action plans. In order to address the issue of long-term risks from radon exposures, it is important to identify areas where elevated levels of radon can be expected. One of the types of areas affected by an increased migration of radon and by the penetration of radon into buildings are areas in which industrial activity, for example, the exploitation of mineral resources, causes changes in the geological environment. The Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) in Poland is one of the examples. The results of studies conducted in the past have shown that the levels of indoor concentration of radon, to a large extent, depend on the geological structure of the subsurface layers. One of the main factors influencing the migratory abilities of radon are the mining-induced changes of a rock body. We estimate that in specific radon-prone zones, the levels of radon may exceed 300 Bq/m3 in approximately 2% of the dwellings. Another problem that may appear in post-mining areas is linked to the reclamation of radioactively contaminated areas. The complex geology of the strata in USCB, the mining activity that can be observed in the region and, additionally, the discharge of radium-bearing waters into the environment are the most significant factors affecting radon potential and hazard in dwellings in this region. In this paper, problems linked to the detection of radon in the mining area of USCB are presented.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • geology
  • mining and post-mining areas
  • mining-induced transformations
Open Access

The characteristics of radon and thoron concentration from soil gas in Shenzhen City of Southern China

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 315 - 319

Astratto

Abstract

Radon (222Rn) and thoron (220Rn) from soil gas are very significant factors that can affect the indoor radon level in the first floor or in the basement. China is one of the countries with the highest thorium content in the world. Therefore, it is very significant to study 222Rn/220Rn concentration in the soil in Shenzhen City (SC). A 222Rn/220Rn survey was performed using a portable radon monitor (model RAD7) at 69 sites, covered a total area of 1800 km2 in 2013 to get the original data for radon risk estimation in SC. The average values of 222Rn and 220Rn concentration of soil gas of the total 69 locations are 86 ± 72 kBq·m−3 and 118 ± 85 kBq·m−3, respectively. 222Rn/220Rn concentrations are related to geological lithology. 222Rn concentrations vary from 40 to 370 kBq·m−3 and from 15 to 118 kBq·m−3 in weathered granite products and sediments, respectively, while 220Rn concentrations are from 103 to 435 kBq·m−3 and 2.2 to 96 kBq·m−3. The higher 220Rn values were mainly observed at the sites covered by the weathered granite products. Comparing with the areas of high 222Rn concentration, the areas of high 220Rn values are larger. The distribution of 222Rn concentration in the vertical direction displays an exponential distribution mode, but there is no rule of 220Rn concentration. The investigation suggests that people should pay attention to 220Rn contribution in the radon mapping of SC, as well as in the indoor radon survey.

Parole chiave

  • Rn/Rn
  • soil gas
  • radon mapping
  • China
Open Access

Results of the 2015 national indoor radon intercomparison measurements in Serbia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 321 - 325

Astratto

Abstract

Results and conclusions of interlaboratory comparison of indoor radon in 2015 in Serbia are presented. The participants were three accredited laboratories from Serbia: Serbian Institute of Occupational Health “Dr Dragomir Karajović”, Laboratory for Radioactivity and Dose Measurements at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad and Radiation and Environmental Protection Department, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Science. The laboratories make use of the same method for radon measurement, using charcoal canisters according to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protocol 520/5-87-005. Calibration of detection efficiency was performed using EPA radium standard. Radon activity concentrations were determined on the basis of the intensity of short-living radon daughters, 214Bi and 214Pb, gamma lines. The results of intercomparison were evaluated by using the u-test, which was calculated according to the International Atomic Energy Agency criteria. In this paper, not only limitations but also the advantages and possibilities of application of this method for measuring levels of human exposure to radon are discussed.

Parole chiave

  • charcoal canisters
  • indoor radon
  • interlaboratory comparison
Open Access

Factors underlying persistently high radon levels in a house located in a karst limestone region of Ireland – lessons learned about remediation

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 327 - 332

Astratto

Abstract

The remediation of buildings with elevated radon concentrations is generally straightforward. However, in some cases a number of attempts may be needed to reduce concentrations to below the reference level and, occasionally, it may be impossible to reduce concentrations to below the reference level in a cost effective way. This paper details the work carried out between 2004 and 2012 to reduce radon concentrations in a house with initial radon concentrations of almost 1500 Bq/m3. Over this period, high radon levels were consistently recorded despite the introduction of various radon remedial measures. Remedial work was carried out on ten occasions with 29 radon tests carried out to measure the effect of this work. The paper describes the structure of the house and the karst geology that it is built on and the likely contribution of these factors to the difficulties encountered reducing concentrations. Ultimately, radon concentrations were reduced to about 450 Bq/m3 but no further reductions were considered practicable without substantial and costly renovation to the house. Nonetheless, the remedial work carried out to date has resulted in a significant reduction in the risk to the homeowner of developing lung cancer. This work has also added to the understanding of radon remediation techniques in Ireland, particularly for houses built on karst limestone.

Parole chiave

  • karst geology
  • lessons learned
  • radon
  • remediation methods
Open Access

Distribution of indoor radon concentrations between selected Hungarian thermal baths

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 333 - 336

Astratto

Abstract

Owing to the high potential of radon to increase the risk of lung cancer, health organizations are enforced to update their regulations and recommendations regarding indoor radon levels each year. In this study, the indoor radon concentrations of three randomly selected thermal baths in Hungary using CR-39 and an AlphaGUARD radon monitor were measured with regard to the new updated standards of the European Basic Safety Standard (EU BSS, Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom, 2014). The annual average of indoor radon concentrations in Parad Medical Bath, Igal Health Spa and Eger Turkish Bath were measured as 159 ± 19, 176 ± 27 and 301 ± 30 Bq/m3, respectively. Indoor radon concentration in all measurement locations were determined to be below the reference level, with the exception of the main pool, small pool and sparkling bath areas in the Eger Turkish Bath that were measured as 403 ± 42, 315 ± 32 and 354 ± 36 Bq/m3, respectively. In light of the results, the estimated annual average radon concentration in the thermal baths was below the EU BSS reference level of 300 Bq/m3. Personal dosimetry is required to estimate the annual effective dose from inhaled radon by the workers at the Eger Turkish Bath. This procedure is required in order to justify the application of the mitigation process of decreasing working hours, improving the ventilation rate or increasing the number of classified employees in response to the official radiation surveillance programme.

Parole chiave

  • AlphaGUARD
  • CR-39
  • EU BSS
  • Hungary
  • radon
  • thermal bath
Open Access

Radon emission rate and analysis of its influencing parameters

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 337 - 342

Astratto

Abstract

The geological and structural conditions define the radon situation inside a building. While the geological realities can be specified by the content of radium-226 and the ratio of radon-222 emitted from the ground the structural conditions are defined by the tightness of the building envelope. The radon concentration inside has an unsteady character, which is caused by meteorological conditions outside and the air change rate (ACH or ACR), which in turn is influenced by the residents’ behaviour such as venting and heating. For the assessment of the radon exposition, it is necessary to perform measurements for a long time. An approach to reduce this time by eliminating the inhabitants influence on the radon concentration is the radon emission rate, also known as radon entry rate. This variable is based on the measurement of the radon concentration and the parallel determination of the air change rate via a tracer gas method, the result expresses a released activity per time. Due to their noisy character, it is necessary to apply a smoothing algorithm to the input parameters. In addition to mean values, the use of window functions, known from digital signal processing, was analysed. For the verification of the whole calculation procedure, simulations and measurements under defined conditions were used. Furthermore, measurements in an uninhabited house showed proof of the capability of the assessment of the radon potential. First examinations of influencing parameters of the radon emission rate showed a possible dependence on the temperature difference inside and outside the building.

Parole chiave

  • air change rate
  • radon emission rate
  • radon entry rate
  • radon exposition
  • window function
Open Access

Construction of new houses on a uranium vein outcrop: a case study from the Czech Republic

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 343 - 349

Astratto

Abstract

Significant uranium mineralization represented by a typical assemblage of uranyl supergene minerals in a quartz-uraninite vein hosted in the exocontact zone of the Variscan-Tanvald granite was found at a new construction site in the municipality of Jablonec n. Nisou. Activities of 222Rn in soil gas reached 1 MBq/m3 around two houses, with a maximum of 3.33 MBq/m3 between them on a uranium ore lens outcrop. The uranium content reaches up to 291 ppm eU (3595 Bq/kg 226Ra), and it is possible to find many ‘hot’ pieces of uranium ore fragments with a high percentage of uranium in the Quaternary cover in this place. This unfavourable situation is a result of an improper spatial planning process. The constructor was given the permission to construct the building even though the construction site did not meet safety requirements and the geological survey had failed. Not only geological prospecting was underestimated, but also the radon risk assessment was undervalued.

Parole chiave

  • Tanvald granite
  • vein-type uranium
  • uranyl minerals
  • spatial planning
  • radon risk
Open Access

The natural radioactivity of the Carpathian national parks and radon evaluation

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 351 - 356

Astratto

Abstract

The results of the low-background gamma spectrometric measurements of protected mountain areas (Zacharovanyy Kray, Chorne Bahno, Ihthyological Preserve Rika and Uzhanskij National Natural Park) in the region of Primeval Beech Forests of the Transcarpathia, Ukraine, are presented. The distances between sampling points in a single protected area were in the range of 200–400 m in elevation of 300 m; probes were taken from the surface, from depth 20 cm and more than 50 cm. The proposed sampling scheme allows one to investigate the radionuclide concentration in protected area’s soils, their distribution on/near the mountain ridges and migration in depth (0–50 cm). We also investigate the influence the soils’ pH on the contents and the migration of nuclides. The obtained data allow us to study the statistical regularities between the sampling points along and down mountain ridges on the base of their radionuclide content. These results are important for evaluating the radon content/distribution and developing standards in the radionuclide content of the soil Carpathian region.

Parole chiave

  • Carpathians
  • radionuclides
  • soils
  • depth content
  • radon
Open Access

The use of multivariate analysis of the radon variability in the underground laboratory and indoor environment

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 357 - 360

Astratto

Abstract

The paper presents results of multivariate analysis of variations of radon concentrations in the shallow underground laboratory and a family house, depending on meteorological variables only. All available multivariate classification and regression methods, developed for data analysis in high-energy physics and implemented in the toolkit for multivariate analysis (TMVA) software package in ROOT, are used in the analysis. The result of multivariate regression analysis is a mapped functional behaviour of variations of radon concentration depending on meteorological variables only, which can be used for the evaluation of radon concentration, as well as to help with modelling of variation of radon concentration. The results of analysis of the radon concentration variations in the underground laboratory and real indoor environment, using multivariate methods, demonstrated the potential usefulness of these methods. Multivariate analysis showed that there is a potentially considerable prediction power of variations of indoor radon concentrations based on the knowledge of meteorological variables only. In addition, the online system using the resulting mapped functional behaviour for underground laboratory in the Institute of Physics Belgrade is implemented, and the resulting evaluation of radon concentrations are presented in this paper.

Parole chiave

  • multivariate analysis
  • radon variability
Open Access

First steps towards national radon action plan in Serbia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 361 - 365

Astratto

Abstract

Radon problem has a special attention in many countries in the world and the most of them have established national radon programmes. The radon issues in Serbia have not been approached in a systematic and organized way. Currently, there are many research groups and institutions working in radon field, and it is a good basis to integrate all these activities into a comprehensive national programme to define the strategic objectives and action plan for the next few years. Also, Serbia as a candidate for membership in the EU is obliged to harmonize its legislation, including the field of radiation protection in which the radon issues has an important role. In this report, a brief history of radon research, present status and plans for the future activity on radon issues in Serbia are presented. Regarding the long-term plans, the establishment and implementation of the Radon Action Plan with the primary goal of raising awareness about the harmful effects of public exposure to radon and implementing a set of measures for its reduction. In that sense, the synergy between the national, regional and local organizations responsible for public health and radiation protection must be achieved.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • action plan
  • survey
Open Access

Preliminary results of spatial distribution of uranium and thorium in soil profiles near a uranium industrial site, Guangdong province, China

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 367 - 371

Astratto

Abstract

Four soil profiles were collected from locations with different distances (5, 50, 250 and 1000 m) from a uranium mill tailings dam, Guangdong province, China, to investigate the pollution status of the soil in mining/milling-related areas based on the contents of uranium (U) and thorium (Th), thus to understand the impacts of uranium industrial activities to the surroundings. The U and Th concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after conventional HF-HNO3-HClO4 digestion procedures. The results indicate that the soils within 50 m from uranium tailing were severely contaminated; those in 250 and 1000 m soil samples were observed to be with local background level even though these in 250 m had slightly higher U/Th ratios. Uranium concentrations varied from 5.50 ± 0.27 to 160.55 ± 8.03 mg/kg, with maximum values recorded in an intermediate layer of the 5-m distance soil profile. In comparison, the concentration of Th ranged from 6.02 ± 0.30 to 84.71 ± 4.24 mg/kg, with maximum values observed in the top layer of the 1000-m distance soil profile. The U/Th ratio varied from 0.15 to 11.99 compared with 0.20, 0.22 and 0.26 of the average for Guangdong province, national China and the world, respectively. The mean U/Th of four soil profiles showed a reduction with distance from the uranium mill tailing dam, suggesting the relatively large magnitude of uranium elevation in soils within limited distances.

Parole chiave

  • spatial distribution
  • thorium
  • uranium
  • U/Th ratio
Open Access

Outdoor radon concentration in China

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 373 - 378

Astratto

Abstract

A nationwide survey was conducted in 2014 to investigate environmental outdoor radon level in 33 provincial cities across China. The radon detector used was a passive-type solid-state nuclear track detector, CR-39. Measurements were conducted under the same condition following the quality control programme. Outdoor radon concentrations in China ranged from 3 to 30.0 Bq·m−3. The annual arithmetic and geometric mean radon concentration were 14 and 13.2 Bq·m−3, respectively. The radon concentrations in the locations near or along coastline were lower than the average value, while those located in the inland area were higher. As a whole, the result showed no big difference from the data measured during the period 1983–1998. It demonstrated that the outdoor radon concentration level in China has not been changing remarkably for 20 years.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • CR-39
  • passive-type radon monitor
  • outdoor
  • nationwide survey
Open Access

Thoron emanation and exhalation of Slovenian soils determined by a PIC detector-equipped radon monitor

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 379 - 384

Astratto

Abstract

The health risk from thoron (Rn-220) is usually ignored owing to its short half-life (55.6 s), but the generated thoron decay products can cause a significant dose contribution. In this study, altogether 51 Slovenian soil samples were investigated using an accumulation chamber technique to obtain information about thoron exhalation features. The obtained (massic) thoron exhalation results varied between 6.9 and 149 mBq·kg−1·s−1 (average: 55.2 mBq·kg−1·s−1). The Th-232 content was determined using HPGe gamma spectrometry. The Th-232 activity concentration ranged between 9.3 and 161.7 Bq·kg−1 (average: 64.6 Bq·kg−1). The thoron emanation features were also calculated from the obtained results (2.9 to 21.2% with an average of 8.6%). The thoron exhalation and emanation properties were compared with the radon exhalation and emanation features determined in a previous study. It was found that there was no correlation between the radon and thoron emanation features, according to the obtained data. This can be explained by the different Ra-224 and Ra-226 distributions in the soil grains. As a result, the thoron emanation factor cannot be predicted from radon emanation and vice versa.

Parole chiave

  • emanation
  • exhalation
  • gamma spectrometry
  • PIC detector
  • soil
  • thorium
  • thoron
Open Access

Results of radon CR-39 detectors exposed in schools due two different long-term periods

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 385 - 389

Astratto

Abstract

The paper deals with the recent survey of indoor radon (Rn) results in schools, where paired CR-39 detectors were simultaneously exposed to different long-term periods, i.e., one detector was exposed during the whole year and the other one in the period of the school year duration. To be able to compare the results obtained, for its analysis, the relative bias and U tests were used. It was found that there are no systematic differences between the results, which points that the exposure of the detector during summer vacations did not affect the estimated average annual radon concentration. The paired results were modelled by a linear function, giving an extremely high coefficient of determination R2 = 0.99.

Parole chiave

  • comparison
  • linear regression analysis
  • relative bias
  • U test
26 Articoli
Open Access

Soil heat flux and air temperature as factors of radon (Rn-222) concentration in the near-ground air layer

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 231 - 237

Astratto

Abstract

A unique, highly time-resolved, and synchronous three-year dataset of near-surface atmospheric radon-222 as well as soil heat flux and air temperature measurements at two sites (rural and urban) in Central Poland are investigated. The recognition of temporal variability of Rn-222 and selected meteorological variables in the urban and rural areas served to create two statistical models for estimation of this radionuclide concentration at 2 m a.g.l. The description of the relationships between the variables for individual months was established on the basis of an exponential function and an exponential function with time derivative of predictor to account for the hysteresis issue. The model with time derivative provided better results. The weakest fitting of modelled data to empirical ones is observed for the winter months. During subsequent seasons, air temperature as well as QG-driven (soil heat flux) models exhibited very high agreement with the empirical data (MBE, RMSE, MAE, and ‘index of agreement’ by Willmott were used to evaluate the models). A restriction in the use of QG for Rn-222 concentration was observed only in winter in the case of snow cover occurrence, which reduces the daily QG variability.

Parole chiave

  • air temperature
  • Central Poland
  • exponential function
  • Rn-222
  • soil heat flux
Open Access

The influence of air conditioning changes on the effective dose due to radon and its short-lived decay products

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 239 - 244

Astratto

Abstract

Most people spend the majority of their time in indoor environments where the level of harmful pollutants is often significantly higher than outdoors. Radon (222Rn) and its decay products are the example of radioactive pollutants. These radioisotopes are the main source of ionizing radiation in non-industrial buildings. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of air-conditioning system on radon and its progeny concentrations and thus on the effective dose. The measurements were carried out in the auditorium at the Environmental Engineering Faculty (Lublin University of Technology, Poland). Measurements of radon and its progeny (in attached and unattached fractions) as well as measurements of the following indoor air parameters were performed in two air-conditioning (AC) operation modes: AC ON and AC ON/OFF. The air supply rate and air recirculation were taken into consideration. The separation of radon progeny into attached and unattached fractions allowed for determining, respectively, the dose conversion factor (DCF) and the inhalation dose for teachers and students in the auditorium. A considerable increase of the mean radon progeny concentrations from 1.2 Bq/m3 to 5.0 Bq/m3 was observed in the AC ON/OFF mode compared to the AC ON mode. This also resulted in the increase of the inhalation dose from 0.005 mSv/y to 0.016 mSv/y (for 200 h/year). Furthermore, the change of the air recirculation rate from 0% to 80% resulted in a decrease of the mean radon concentration from 30 Bq/m3 to 12 Bq/m3 and the reduction of the mean radon progeny concentration from 1.4 Bq/m3 to 0.8 Bq/m3. This resulted in the reduction of the inhalation dose from 0.006 mSv/y to 0.003 mSv/y.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • radon progeny
  • attached and unattached fraction of radon progeny
  • dose conversion factor
Open Access

Radon in the dry carbon dioxide spa of Mátraderecske, Hungary

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 245 - 249

Astratto

Abstract

The final product of a post-volcanic activity is the exhalation of low-temperature (<100°C) gases containing mostly carbon dioxide. The phenomenon is called mofettes, which are often used for therapeutic treatments in the form of dry CO2 spas. Along its pathway to the surface, the deep origin gas also intakes different radon isotopes from the rocks and soils; therefore, the risks associated with radon exposures should also be a concern. In this work, we have found that the 222Rn activity concentration in the mofette gas of Mátraderecske is particularly high; it is in the order of 200 kBq·m−3. However, owing to the carefully designed flow pattern of mofette gas and fresh air, the radon level is about 1 kBq·m−3 at the breath level of the staff, accompanying the treatment, which is the radon reference level for workers in Hungary. We have also found that in this dry spa, radon is a good tracer of CO2; therefore, it can be used to monitor the CO2 distribution in the treatment pools.

Parole chiave

  • dry CO spa
  • mofette
  • radon
  • tracer
Open Access

Main results of the international intercomparison of passive radon detectors under field conditions in Marie Curie’s tunnel in Lurisia (Italy)

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 251 - 256

Astratto

Abstract

In recent years a large number of radon intercomparison exercises has been organized; most of them took place in radon chambers, in reference atmosphere of the parameter to control (i.e. radon gas) under temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure stable conditions. In 2014, in the tunnel belonging to the Lurisia spas complex (Lurisia, Piedmont, Italy), with natural high concentrations of uranium and radon gas, an intercomparison exercise has been held to give to radon measurement services and laboratories the possibility to test their passive systems under field conditions, which are less controlled and much more challenging. The response of laboratories was very positive: 46 participants from 10 European countries and 3 non-European countries. Generally about 80% of results of participants were considered acceptable even if it was observed a global trend of a substantial underestimation of the actual radon concentration.

Parole chiave

  • in-field conditions
  • intercomparison
  • passive detectors
  • radon
Open Access

Metrological aspects of international intercomparison of passive radon detectors under field conditions in Marie Curie’s tunnel in Lurisia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 257 - 261

Astratto

Abstract

In 2014, an intercomparison exercise of passive radon detectors under field conditions in the Marie Curie’s tunnel belonging to the Lurisia spas complex (Lurisia, Piedmont, Italy) has been held. Radon activity concentration in the tunnel was measured with six radon active monitors, previously calibrated at ENEA-INMRI facilities. In the present paper, a synthesis of the metrological aspects of the intercomparison is given. Indeed particular attention was paid to metrological characterization of radon monitors and their response upon ambient conditions. Correction factors have been defined to be applied when measurements are performed in severe environmental conditions. In particular, it has been found that monitors are particularly sensitive to the effect of air density: the AlphaGUARD (AG-SAPHYMO, GmbH) efficiency decreases with the air density, while for the MR1 PLUS (Tesys, Italy), the opposite applies. When the reference monitors were placed into the Marie Curie’s tunnel, to the recorded average radon concentrations correction factors were applied. After the correction the difference between data coming from AG and MR1 PLUS is within the 1.7%.

Parole chiave

  • active monitors
  • calibration
  • intercomparison
  • radon
Open Access

Lung cancer mortality and radon exposure in Russia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 263 - 268

Astratto

Abstract

The association between the lung cancer and indoor radon exposure in Russian population was investigated. The average indoor radon concentration for each region was estimated using the annual reports issued by the Saint-Petersburg Ramzaev Research Institute of Radiation Hygiene for the period 2008–2013. The average standardized lung cancer mortalities among males and females were estimated using the reports of the Moscow Hertzen Cancer Research Institute for the period 2008–2012. The relative risk (RR) was estimated as a ratio between the average mortality within seven exposure intervals and background mortality. The slope factors of linear dependence between the indoor radon exposure and lung cancer RR are 0.026 (−0.11÷0.17) and 0.83 (0.52–1.12) per radon concentration 100 Bq/m3 for males and females, respectively (with 90% confidence interval). The obtained results can be explained by the confounding effect of tobacco smoking. Significant excess risk of lung cancer in female population can be associated with radon exposure and low prevalence of smoking.

Parole chiave

  • lung cancer
  • radon
  • relative risk
  • smoking
Open Access

Investigation of the influence of chamber construction parameters on radon exhalation rate

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 269 - 273

Astratto

Abstract

Radon exhalation from ground is a process dependent on the emanation and migration of radon through ambient air. Most studies on radon exhalation from soil were performed regarding the influence of meteorological and soil parameters. As radon exhalation rate can be affected by the internal properties of the sample, it may also be influenced by the exhalation chamber geometry such as volume-to-area (V/S) ratio or other construction parameters. The measurements of radon exhalation from soil were made using different constructions of accumulation chamber and two types of radon monitors: RAD7 (Durridge) and AlphaGUARD PQ2000PRO (Genitron). The measurements were performed on one site in two locations and approximately at the same time. The first tests did not show the correlations of exhalation rate values and the chamber’s construction parameters and their geometrical dimensions. However, when examining the results, it seems that there are still too many factors that might have affected the process of radon exhalation. The future experiments are planned to be conducted in controlled laboratory conditions.

Parole chiave

  • accumulation chambers
  • exhalation rate
  • measurement techniques
  • radon
Open Access

The Laboratory of Natural Radiation (LNR) – a place to test radon instruments under variable conditions of radon concentration and climatic variables

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 275 - 280

Astratto

Abstract

The publication of the new European Union Basic Safety Standards represents a remarkable milestone in the field of radiological protection in terms of adding radon exposure to this framework. Therefore, the coming years will bring the need to measure radon not only in the workplaces but also in the living spaces as a direct outcome of the application of the new EU Directive. So, the importance of having reliable instruments is evident and interlaboratory exercises are becoming more and more popular. However, most of them are carried out under constant conditions of meteorological variables. We present in this paper a facility to broaden the interlaboratory comparisons further by adding the study of radon exposures under real conditions of changes in climatic parameters. In addition, the facility has the possibility to verify the response of radon monitors when the radon concentration changes several orders of magnitude in a short period of time. Our work shows some results of one of the interlaboratory exercises carried out in the premises, where the radon levels were rather homogeneous in the testing room.

Parole chiave

  • active monitors
  • interlaboratory comparison
  • radon
Open Access

Outdoor 222Rn behaviour in different areas of Slovakia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 281 - 288

Astratto

Abstract

Radon activity concentration (RAC) in the outdoor atmosphere was monitored in four localities of Slovakia. The distance between the localities were up to 130 km. The localities had a diverse orography, ranging from flatland to hilly terrain. A significant influence of orography and 226Ra and 222Rn content in soil on diurnal time series of RAC was found. A simple approach of determining radon exhalation rate from soil based on the increase of RAC from daily minima to maxima and removal characteristic of radon is presented. A linear dependency between radon exhalation rate from the soil and RAC in the soil gas at a depth of 0.8 m was found for sandy soils.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • activity concentration
  • exhalation rate
  • orography
Open Access

Radon permeability of insulating building materials

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 289 - 293

Astratto

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the radon permeability coefficient of insulating building materials. Eleven insulating materials were tested. A research setup was developed and it was as follows: a tested material was tightly set on the receiver box’s hole and placed into the radon chamber. The measurements showed that for various insulating materials, radon permeability coefficient varies from 1.26 × 10−10 m2/s for film-like materials to 9.95 × 10−8 m2/s for roofing papers. According to our calculations of all insulating materials, the foil-type insulating materials to ensure the best protection against radon flow from the ground. Comparison of different types of building materials shows that the insulating building materials ensure better radiological protection than regular building constructions materials.

Parole chiave

  • insulating building materials
  • permeability
  • radon
  • transmittance
Open Access

Analysis of simultaneous time series of indoor, outdoor and soil air radon concentrations, meteorological and seismic data

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 295 - 302

Astratto

Abstract

It is well known that the temporal dynamic of indoor and outdoor radon concentrations show complex patterns, which are partly not easy to interpret. Clearly, for physical reasons, they must be related to possibly variable conditions of radon generation, migration and atmospheric dispersion and accumulation. The aim of this study was to analyse long-time series of simultaneously measured indoor and outdoor radon concentrations, together with environmental quantities, which may act as control variables of Rn. The study was performed in Chiba, Japan, using two ionization chambers for parallel indoor and outdoor radon concentrations measurements over 4 years. Meteorological and seismic data were obtained from the Japan Metrological Agency (JMA).

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • time series
  • meteorological conditions
  • seismic
Open Access

Preliminary results of radon survey in thermal spas in V4 countries

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 303 - 306

Astratto

Abstract

Radon concentration was measured in 11 thermal spas in Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia). The results showed that in 84% of spas radon activity concentration is less than 400 Bq·m−3. However, areas with radon activity concentration exceeding 1000 Bq·m−3 were found in the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well. Preliminary analyses indicated that the highest radon activities in spas were found in places with thermal pools. Radon concentration in waters used in spas ranged from 0.5 Bq/l to 384 Bq/l. The influence of radon activity concentration in water on radon activity in the air inside the spa was observed. It was found to increase indoor radon with increasing radon in the waters. Correlation with indoor radon and radon in water was more significant for baths and less significant for pool waters. In the cases filling of the bath from water taps, significantly contribute to the increased radon was observed in the pool and bath areas of the spa.

Parole chiave

  • indoor radon
  • thermal spas
  • thermal water
Open Access

Radon problems in mining and post-mining areas in Upper Silesia region, Poland

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 307 - 313

Astratto

Abstract

The new basic safety standards (BSS) Directive 2013/59/Euratom [1] puts EU member states under an obligation to establish, amongst others, national radon action plans. In order to address the issue of long-term risks from radon exposures, it is important to identify areas where elevated levels of radon can be expected. One of the types of areas affected by an increased migration of radon and by the penetration of radon into buildings are areas in which industrial activity, for example, the exploitation of mineral resources, causes changes in the geological environment. The Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) in Poland is one of the examples. The results of studies conducted in the past have shown that the levels of indoor concentration of radon, to a large extent, depend on the geological structure of the subsurface layers. One of the main factors influencing the migratory abilities of radon are the mining-induced changes of a rock body. We estimate that in specific radon-prone zones, the levels of radon may exceed 300 Bq/m3 in approximately 2% of the dwellings. Another problem that may appear in post-mining areas is linked to the reclamation of radioactively contaminated areas. The complex geology of the strata in USCB, the mining activity that can be observed in the region and, additionally, the discharge of radium-bearing waters into the environment are the most significant factors affecting radon potential and hazard in dwellings in this region. In this paper, problems linked to the detection of radon in the mining area of USCB are presented.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • geology
  • mining and post-mining areas
  • mining-induced transformations
Open Access

The characteristics of radon and thoron concentration from soil gas in Shenzhen City of Southern China

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 315 - 319

Astratto

Abstract

Radon (222Rn) and thoron (220Rn) from soil gas are very significant factors that can affect the indoor radon level in the first floor or in the basement. China is one of the countries with the highest thorium content in the world. Therefore, it is very significant to study 222Rn/220Rn concentration in the soil in Shenzhen City (SC). A 222Rn/220Rn survey was performed using a portable radon monitor (model RAD7) at 69 sites, covered a total area of 1800 km2 in 2013 to get the original data for radon risk estimation in SC. The average values of 222Rn and 220Rn concentration of soil gas of the total 69 locations are 86 ± 72 kBq·m−3 and 118 ± 85 kBq·m−3, respectively. 222Rn/220Rn concentrations are related to geological lithology. 222Rn concentrations vary from 40 to 370 kBq·m−3 and from 15 to 118 kBq·m−3 in weathered granite products and sediments, respectively, while 220Rn concentrations are from 103 to 435 kBq·m−3 and 2.2 to 96 kBq·m−3. The higher 220Rn values were mainly observed at the sites covered by the weathered granite products. Comparing with the areas of high 222Rn concentration, the areas of high 220Rn values are larger. The distribution of 222Rn concentration in the vertical direction displays an exponential distribution mode, but there is no rule of 220Rn concentration. The investigation suggests that people should pay attention to 220Rn contribution in the radon mapping of SC, as well as in the indoor radon survey.

Parole chiave

  • Rn/Rn
  • soil gas
  • radon mapping
  • China
Open Access

Results of the 2015 national indoor radon intercomparison measurements in Serbia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 321 - 325

Astratto

Abstract

Results and conclusions of interlaboratory comparison of indoor radon in 2015 in Serbia are presented. The participants were three accredited laboratories from Serbia: Serbian Institute of Occupational Health “Dr Dragomir Karajović”, Laboratory for Radioactivity and Dose Measurements at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad and Radiation and Environmental Protection Department, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Science. The laboratories make use of the same method for radon measurement, using charcoal canisters according to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protocol 520/5-87-005. Calibration of detection efficiency was performed using EPA radium standard. Radon activity concentrations were determined on the basis of the intensity of short-living radon daughters, 214Bi and 214Pb, gamma lines. The results of intercomparison were evaluated by using the u-test, which was calculated according to the International Atomic Energy Agency criteria. In this paper, not only limitations but also the advantages and possibilities of application of this method for measuring levels of human exposure to radon are discussed.

Parole chiave

  • charcoal canisters
  • indoor radon
  • interlaboratory comparison
Open Access

Factors underlying persistently high radon levels in a house located in a karst limestone region of Ireland – lessons learned about remediation

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 327 - 332

Astratto

Abstract

The remediation of buildings with elevated radon concentrations is generally straightforward. However, in some cases a number of attempts may be needed to reduce concentrations to below the reference level and, occasionally, it may be impossible to reduce concentrations to below the reference level in a cost effective way. This paper details the work carried out between 2004 and 2012 to reduce radon concentrations in a house with initial radon concentrations of almost 1500 Bq/m3. Over this period, high radon levels were consistently recorded despite the introduction of various radon remedial measures. Remedial work was carried out on ten occasions with 29 radon tests carried out to measure the effect of this work. The paper describes the structure of the house and the karst geology that it is built on and the likely contribution of these factors to the difficulties encountered reducing concentrations. Ultimately, radon concentrations were reduced to about 450 Bq/m3 but no further reductions were considered practicable without substantial and costly renovation to the house. Nonetheless, the remedial work carried out to date has resulted in a significant reduction in the risk to the homeowner of developing lung cancer. This work has also added to the understanding of radon remediation techniques in Ireland, particularly for houses built on karst limestone.

Parole chiave

  • karst geology
  • lessons learned
  • radon
  • remediation methods
Open Access

Distribution of indoor radon concentrations between selected Hungarian thermal baths

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 333 - 336

Astratto

Abstract

Owing to the high potential of radon to increase the risk of lung cancer, health organizations are enforced to update their regulations and recommendations regarding indoor radon levels each year. In this study, the indoor radon concentrations of three randomly selected thermal baths in Hungary using CR-39 and an AlphaGUARD radon monitor were measured with regard to the new updated standards of the European Basic Safety Standard (EU BSS, Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom, 2014). The annual average of indoor radon concentrations in Parad Medical Bath, Igal Health Spa and Eger Turkish Bath were measured as 159 ± 19, 176 ± 27 and 301 ± 30 Bq/m3, respectively. Indoor radon concentration in all measurement locations were determined to be below the reference level, with the exception of the main pool, small pool and sparkling bath areas in the Eger Turkish Bath that were measured as 403 ± 42, 315 ± 32 and 354 ± 36 Bq/m3, respectively. In light of the results, the estimated annual average radon concentration in the thermal baths was below the EU BSS reference level of 300 Bq/m3. Personal dosimetry is required to estimate the annual effective dose from inhaled radon by the workers at the Eger Turkish Bath. This procedure is required in order to justify the application of the mitigation process of decreasing working hours, improving the ventilation rate or increasing the number of classified employees in response to the official radiation surveillance programme.

Parole chiave

  • AlphaGUARD
  • CR-39
  • EU BSS
  • Hungary
  • radon
  • thermal bath
Open Access

Radon emission rate and analysis of its influencing parameters

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 337 - 342

Astratto

Abstract

The geological and structural conditions define the radon situation inside a building. While the geological realities can be specified by the content of radium-226 and the ratio of radon-222 emitted from the ground the structural conditions are defined by the tightness of the building envelope. The radon concentration inside has an unsteady character, which is caused by meteorological conditions outside and the air change rate (ACH or ACR), which in turn is influenced by the residents’ behaviour such as venting and heating. For the assessment of the radon exposition, it is necessary to perform measurements for a long time. An approach to reduce this time by eliminating the inhabitants influence on the radon concentration is the radon emission rate, also known as radon entry rate. This variable is based on the measurement of the radon concentration and the parallel determination of the air change rate via a tracer gas method, the result expresses a released activity per time. Due to their noisy character, it is necessary to apply a smoothing algorithm to the input parameters. In addition to mean values, the use of window functions, known from digital signal processing, was analysed. For the verification of the whole calculation procedure, simulations and measurements under defined conditions were used. Furthermore, measurements in an uninhabited house showed proof of the capability of the assessment of the radon potential. First examinations of influencing parameters of the radon emission rate showed a possible dependence on the temperature difference inside and outside the building.

Parole chiave

  • air change rate
  • radon emission rate
  • radon entry rate
  • radon exposition
  • window function
Open Access

Construction of new houses on a uranium vein outcrop: a case study from the Czech Republic

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 343 - 349

Astratto

Abstract

Significant uranium mineralization represented by a typical assemblage of uranyl supergene minerals in a quartz-uraninite vein hosted in the exocontact zone of the Variscan-Tanvald granite was found at a new construction site in the municipality of Jablonec n. Nisou. Activities of 222Rn in soil gas reached 1 MBq/m3 around two houses, with a maximum of 3.33 MBq/m3 between them on a uranium ore lens outcrop. The uranium content reaches up to 291 ppm eU (3595 Bq/kg 226Ra), and it is possible to find many ‘hot’ pieces of uranium ore fragments with a high percentage of uranium in the Quaternary cover in this place. This unfavourable situation is a result of an improper spatial planning process. The constructor was given the permission to construct the building even though the construction site did not meet safety requirements and the geological survey had failed. Not only geological prospecting was underestimated, but also the radon risk assessment was undervalued.

Parole chiave

  • Tanvald granite
  • vein-type uranium
  • uranyl minerals
  • spatial planning
  • radon risk
Open Access

The natural radioactivity of the Carpathian national parks and radon evaluation

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 351 - 356

Astratto

Abstract

The results of the low-background gamma spectrometric measurements of protected mountain areas (Zacharovanyy Kray, Chorne Bahno, Ihthyological Preserve Rika and Uzhanskij National Natural Park) in the region of Primeval Beech Forests of the Transcarpathia, Ukraine, are presented. The distances between sampling points in a single protected area were in the range of 200–400 m in elevation of 300 m; probes were taken from the surface, from depth 20 cm and more than 50 cm. The proposed sampling scheme allows one to investigate the radionuclide concentration in protected area’s soils, their distribution on/near the mountain ridges and migration in depth (0–50 cm). We also investigate the influence the soils’ pH on the contents and the migration of nuclides. The obtained data allow us to study the statistical regularities between the sampling points along and down mountain ridges on the base of their radionuclide content. These results are important for evaluating the radon content/distribution and developing standards in the radionuclide content of the soil Carpathian region.

Parole chiave

  • Carpathians
  • radionuclides
  • soils
  • depth content
  • radon
Open Access

The use of multivariate analysis of the radon variability in the underground laboratory and indoor environment

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 357 - 360

Astratto

Abstract

The paper presents results of multivariate analysis of variations of radon concentrations in the shallow underground laboratory and a family house, depending on meteorological variables only. All available multivariate classification and regression methods, developed for data analysis in high-energy physics and implemented in the toolkit for multivariate analysis (TMVA) software package in ROOT, are used in the analysis. The result of multivariate regression analysis is a mapped functional behaviour of variations of radon concentration depending on meteorological variables only, which can be used for the evaluation of radon concentration, as well as to help with modelling of variation of radon concentration. The results of analysis of the radon concentration variations in the underground laboratory and real indoor environment, using multivariate methods, demonstrated the potential usefulness of these methods. Multivariate analysis showed that there is a potentially considerable prediction power of variations of indoor radon concentrations based on the knowledge of meteorological variables only. In addition, the online system using the resulting mapped functional behaviour for underground laboratory in the Institute of Physics Belgrade is implemented, and the resulting evaluation of radon concentrations are presented in this paper.

Parole chiave

  • multivariate analysis
  • radon variability
Open Access

First steps towards national radon action plan in Serbia

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 361 - 365

Astratto

Abstract

Radon problem has a special attention in many countries in the world and the most of them have established national radon programmes. The radon issues in Serbia have not been approached in a systematic and organized way. Currently, there are many research groups and institutions working in radon field, and it is a good basis to integrate all these activities into a comprehensive national programme to define the strategic objectives and action plan for the next few years. Also, Serbia as a candidate for membership in the EU is obliged to harmonize its legislation, including the field of radiation protection in which the radon issues has an important role. In this report, a brief history of radon research, present status and plans for the future activity on radon issues in Serbia are presented. Regarding the long-term plans, the establishment and implementation of the Radon Action Plan with the primary goal of raising awareness about the harmful effects of public exposure to radon and implementing a set of measures for its reduction. In that sense, the synergy between the national, regional and local organizations responsible for public health and radiation protection must be achieved.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • action plan
  • survey
Open Access

Preliminary results of spatial distribution of uranium and thorium in soil profiles near a uranium industrial site, Guangdong province, China

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 367 - 371

Astratto

Abstract

Four soil profiles were collected from locations with different distances (5, 50, 250 and 1000 m) from a uranium mill tailings dam, Guangdong province, China, to investigate the pollution status of the soil in mining/milling-related areas based on the contents of uranium (U) and thorium (Th), thus to understand the impacts of uranium industrial activities to the surroundings. The U and Th concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after conventional HF-HNO3-HClO4 digestion procedures. The results indicate that the soils within 50 m from uranium tailing were severely contaminated; those in 250 and 1000 m soil samples were observed to be with local background level even though these in 250 m had slightly higher U/Th ratios. Uranium concentrations varied from 5.50 ± 0.27 to 160.55 ± 8.03 mg/kg, with maximum values recorded in an intermediate layer of the 5-m distance soil profile. In comparison, the concentration of Th ranged from 6.02 ± 0.30 to 84.71 ± 4.24 mg/kg, with maximum values observed in the top layer of the 1000-m distance soil profile. The U/Th ratio varied from 0.15 to 11.99 compared with 0.20, 0.22 and 0.26 of the average for Guangdong province, national China and the world, respectively. The mean U/Th of four soil profiles showed a reduction with distance from the uranium mill tailing dam, suggesting the relatively large magnitude of uranium elevation in soils within limited distances.

Parole chiave

  • spatial distribution
  • thorium
  • uranium
  • U/Th ratio
Open Access

Outdoor radon concentration in China

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 373 - 378

Astratto

Abstract

A nationwide survey was conducted in 2014 to investigate environmental outdoor radon level in 33 provincial cities across China. The radon detector used was a passive-type solid-state nuclear track detector, CR-39. Measurements were conducted under the same condition following the quality control programme. Outdoor radon concentrations in China ranged from 3 to 30.0 Bq·m−3. The annual arithmetic and geometric mean radon concentration were 14 and 13.2 Bq·m−3, respectively. The radon concentrations in the locations near or along coastline were lower than the average value, while those located in the inland area were higher. As a whole, the result showed no big difference from the data measured during the period 1983–1998. It demonstrated that the outdoor radon concentration level in China has not been changing remarkably for 20 years.

Parole chiave

  • radon
  • CR-39
  • passive-type radon monitor
  • outdoor
  • nationwide survey
Open Access

Thoron emanation and exhalation of Slovenian soils determined by a PIC detector-equipped radon monitor

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 379 - 384

Astratto

Abstract

The health risk from thoron (Rn-220) is usually ignored owing to its short half-life (55.6 s), but the generated thoron decay products can cause a significant dose contribution. In this study, altogether 51 Slovenian soil samples were investigated using an accumulation chamber technique to obtain information about thoron exhalation features. The obtained (massic) thoron exhalation results varied between 6.9 and 149 mBq·kg−1·s−1 (average: 55.2 mBq·kg−1·s−1). The Th-232 content was determined using HPGe gamma spectrometry. The Th-232 activity concentration ranged between 9.3 and 161.7 Bq·kg−1 (average: 64.6 Bq·kg−1). The thoron emanation features were also calculated from the obtained results (2.9 to 21.2% with an average of 8.6%). The thoron exhalation and emanation properties were compared with the radon exhalation and emanation features determined in a previous study. It was found that there was no correlation between the radon and thoron emanation features, according to the obtained data. This can be explained by the different Ra-224 and Ra-226 distributions in the soil grains. As a result, the thoron emanation factor cannot be predicted from radon emanation and vice versa.

Parole chiave

  • emanation
  • exhalation
  • gamma spectrometry
  • PIC detector
  • soil
  • thorium
  • thoron
Open Access

Results of radon CR-39 detectors exposed in schools due two different long-term periods

Pubblicato online: 10 Sep 2016
Pagine: 385 - 389

Astratto

Abstract

The paper deals with the recent survey of indoor radon (Rn) results in schools, where paired CR-39 detectors were simultaneously exposed to different long-term periods, i.e., one detector was exposed during the whole year and the other one in the period of the school year duration. To be able to compare the results obtained, for its analysis, the relative bias and U tests were used. It was found that there are no systematic differences between the results, which points that the exposure of the detector during summer vacations did not affect the estimated average annual radon concentration. The paired results were modelled by a linear function, giving an extremely high coefficient of determination R2 = 0.99.

Parole chiave

  • comparison
  • linear regression analysis
  • relative bias
  • U test

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