Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 333–340 | Cite as

Radon in indoor concentrations and indoor concentrations of metal dust particles in museums and other public buildings

  • G. L. Carneiro
  • D. Braz
  • E. F. de Jesus
  • S. M. Santos
  • K. Cardoso
  • A. A. Hecht
  • Moore K. Dias da Cunha
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to evaluate the public and occupational exposure to radon and metal-bearing particles in museums and public buildings located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For this study, four buildings were selected: two historic buildings, which currently house an art gallery and an art museum; and two modern buildings, a chapel and a club. Integrated radon concentration measurements were performed using passive radon detectors with solid state nuclear track detector-type Lexan used as nuclear track detector. Air samplers with a cyclone were used to collect the airborne particle samples that were analyzed by the particle-induced X-ray emission technique. The average unattached-radon concentrations in indoor air in the buildings were above 40 Bq/m3, with the exception of Building D as measured in 2009. The average radon concentrations in indoor air in the four buildings in 2009 were below the recommended reference level by World Health Organization (100 Bq/m3); however, in 2011, the average concentrations of radon in Buildings A and C were above this level, though lower than 300 Bq/m3. The average concentrations of unattached radon were lower than 148 Bq/m3 (4pCi/L), the USEPA level recommended to take action to reduce the concentrations of radon in indoor air. The unattached-radon average concentrations were also lower than the value recommended by the European Union for new houses. As the unattached-radon concentrations were below the international level recommended to take action to reduce the radon concentration in air, it was concluded that during the period of sampling, there was low risk to human health due to the inhalation of unattached radon in these four buildings.


Indoor radon concentration Metals Passive detectors 



The authors thank Dr. Piedade Grinberg, Dr. João Candido Portinari, Dr. Vera Lúcia Bottrel Tostes, Mrs. Ruth Beatriz Silva Caldeira de Andrade, Mr. Carlos Almeida Batista and Father Djalma Rodrigues for the collaboration and CNPq and FAPERJ for the financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. L. Carneiro
    • 1
  • D. Braz
    • 1
  • E. F. de Jesus
    • 1
  • S. M. Santos
    • 2
  • K. Cardoso
    • 3
  • A. A. Hecht
    • 4
  • Moore K. Dias da Cunha
    • 5
  1. 1.COPPE—Coordenação dos Programas de Pós-graduação de Engenharia/UFRJCidade Universitária, Centro de TecnologiaRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Radioproteção e Dosimetria—(IRD)/CNEN-RJJacarepaguáBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Engenharia Nuclear (IEN)/CNEN-RJRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Chemical and Nuclear EngineeringThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  5. 5.Department of Civil EngineeringThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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