Survey of 222Rn concentrations in dwellings and soils in the Dutch Belgian border region

H.J. Albering, J.A. Hoogewerff, J.C.S. Kleinjans

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Abstract

Survey of 222Rn concentrations in dwellings and soils in the Dutch Belgian border region.

Albering HJ, Hoogewerff JA, Kleinjans JC.

Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

222Rn levels in dwellings and soil gas have been investigated in the Eijsden-Vise region, located at the Dutch-Belgian border, in order to analyze the relationship between domestic radon levels and soil gas radon levels, in view of the fact that the local geology varies substantially from uranium-rich to uranium-poor rocks and soils. During February 1992, charcoal detectors were exposed for 24 h in 116 dwellings in the township of Vise, a radon prone area in Belgium. As expected, the results show a large regional variation, with an averaged indoor air radon level of 116 Bq m-3. In the nearby township of Eijsden, the Netherlands, an area with a lower radiation level, similar measurements by means of charcoal detectors in 42 dwellings during March 1993, resulted in an averaged indoor 222Rn concentration of 46 Bq m-3. Furthermore, in the same region time-integrated radon measurements were performed in 15 dwellings on different floors. These results indicate that a gradient in indoor air radon concentration exists from basement to upper floor level. In addition, a significant positive correlation has been found between radon gas levels of soils surrounding 26 houses and indoor air radon levels. The variation in indoor air radon levels in the region under study is mainly due to the variation of the radon levels in the soils. A soil gas radon survey is suitable for prescreening of the radon potential of an area taking into account the spatial heterogeneity of the local geology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
JournalHealth Physics
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

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