Human exposure to indoor radon: a survey in the region of Guarda, Portugal

A Louro, L Peralta, S Soares, A Pereira, G Cunha, A Belchior, L Ferreira, OM Gil, H Louro, P Pinto, A.S. Rodrigues, MJ Silva, P Teles

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Abstract

Radon (Rn-222) is a radioactive gas, abundant in granitic areas, such as the city of Guarda at the northeast of Portugal. This gas is recognised as a carcinogenic agent, being appointed by the World Health Organization as the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoke. Therefore, the knowledge of radon concentrations inside the houses (where people stay longer) is important from the point of view of radiological protection. The main goal of this study was to assess the radon concentration in an area previously identified with a potentially high level of residential radon. The radon concentration was measured using CR-39 detectors, exposed for a period of 2 months in 185 dwellings in the Guarda region. The radon concentration in studied dwellings, ranged between 75 and 7640 Bq m(3), with a geometric mean of 640 Bq m(3) and an arithmetic mean of 1078 Bq m(3). Based on a local wintersummer radon concentration variation model, these values would correspond to an annual average concentration of 860 Bq m(3). Several factors contribute to this large dispersion, the main one being the exact location of housing construction in relation to the geochemical nature of the soil and others the predominant building material and ventilation. Based on the obtained results an average annual effective dose of 15 mSv y(1) is estimated, well above the average previously estimated for Portugal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-244
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Volume154
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • LUNG-CANCER
  • PROVINCE
  • RISK

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    Louro, A., Peralta, L., Soares, S., Pereira, A., Cunha, G., Belchior, A., ... Teles, P. (2013). Human exposure to indoor radon: a survey in the region of Guarda, Portugal. Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 154(2), 237-244. https://doi.org/10.1093/rpd/ncs166