Experimental and theoretical study of radon levels and entry mechanisms in a mediterranean climate house

L. L. Font, C. Baixeras, C. Domingo, F. Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An experimental study has been carried out in an inhabited single-family house. Radon concentration in the different rooms of the house and in its garden soil has been measured with Nuclear Track Detectors. No high differences of radon concentration have been observed between the different rooms of the house, so that the proximity of the room level to the soil seems not to affect the radon concentration. The annual radon concentration obtained indoors and in the soil has been respectively 35 Bq m-3 and 24 kBq m-3. Since radon generation in the source, entry into indoor air and accumulation indoors depend on several parameters, the effect of a specific parameter on indoor radon concentration is difficult to explain from the radon measurements only. The RAGENA (RAdon Generation, ENtry and Accumulation indoors) model has been adapted to the room in the basement of the house. The mean radon concentration values obtained with the model are compared to experimental results derived from measurements using Nuclear Track Detectors. The use of the model, together with the experimental study, has allowed characterising radon sources, levels and entry mechanisms in the house. The concrete walls have been found to be the most relevant radon source, while the contribution of the soil is negligible in this case. The indoor radon level is given by the balance of the permanent exhalation from concrete and the removal due to ventilation. The indoor radon levels are close to the average value for the Barcelona area which, in turn, is close to the world averaged value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-282
JournalRadiation Measurements
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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