Advertisement

Abstract

With the rapidly growing interest in improving environmental performance in new buildings, it is sometimes easy to forget the inherent environmental hazards posed by many development sites. The reality is that, following large-scale industrial restructuring over the past 20 years, many industrial and commercial developments now take place on or adjacent to land that was formerly put to contaminative use. In some parts of the UK, and especially in SE England, the available landbank is so small that sites are almost invariably redeveloped rather than developed for the first time. In other areas, naturally occurring pollutants such as radon can pose special problems for the developer. On some sites, health hazards from the electromagnetic fields generated by overhead power lines may need to be considered. These are the major issues addressed in this chapter.

Keywords

Landfill Site Indoor Radon Green Building Lung Cancer Mortality Indoor Radon Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Summarised in Department of the Environment Circular 21/87 (Welsh Office 22/87), Development of Contaminated Land (London: HMSO, 1987). In Scotland Planning Advice Note 33 should be consulted.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Construction Industry Advisory Committee, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health in the Construction Industry ( London: HMSO, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    ICRCL 59/83, Guidance on the Assessment and Redevelopment of Contaminated Land, 2nd edition ( London: Department of the Environment, 1987 ).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    British Standards Institution, Draft for Development: Code of Practice for the Identification of Potentially Contaminated Land and its Investigation, DD175 ( London: BSI, 1988 ).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Institution of Environmental Health Officers, Development of Contaminated Land: Professional Guidance ( London: IEHO, 1990 ).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Department of the Environment, Problems Arising from the Redevelopment of Gas Works and Similar Sites, 2nd edition ( London: HMSO, 1987 ).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Department of the Environment (Standing Committee of Analysts), The Sampling and Initial Preparation of Sewage and Waterworks’ Sludges, Soils, Sediments, Plant Materials and Contaminated Wildlife Prior to Analysis, 2nd edition ( London: HMSO, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Preliminary results are discussed in C. C. Ferguson ‘The statistical basis for spatial sampling of contaminated land’, Ground Engineering, 25 (S) (1992), pp. 34–8. A final report will be published by HMSO in 1993.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Department of the Environment, The Government’s Response to the First Report from the House of Commons Select Committee on the Environment on Contaminated Land, Cm 1161 ( London: HMSO, 1990 ).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Department of the Environment, Waste Management Paper No. 27: Landfill Gas, 2nd edition ( London: HMSO, 1991 ).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The requirement is under the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 although this does not apply to Scotland.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Monitoring requirements are set out in Reference [10], paragraph 7.9.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Building Research Establishment, Construction of New Buildings on Gas-Contaminated Land, Report BR 212 ( Watford: BRE, 1991 ).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 61.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    R. A. Kerr, ‘Indoor radon: the deadliest pollutant’, Science, 240 (1988), pp. 606–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    J. H. Lubin and J. D. Boice, ‘Estimating radon-induced lung cancer in the United States’, Health Physics, 57 (1989), p. 417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Only radon-222, derived from uranium-238, is considered in this chapter. Radon-220 (derived from thorium-232) and radon-219 (derived from uranium-235) also occur, but over 90 per cent of the radiation dose from indoor radon comes from radon-222.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Radon is soluble in water and so can also enter the body via drinking water although, for average exposures in the USA, this probably contributes only 1–3 per cent of the total dose equivalent. See T. A. Gosink et al., ‘Radon in the human body from drinking water’, Health Physics, 59 (1990), pp. 919–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Clay has a relatively low gas permeability so that, if a house is built on boulder clay above granite, much of the radon emanating from the granite will decay to solid daughter products before reaching the atmosphere.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    R. W. Hornung and T. J. Meinhardt, Quantitative Risk Assessment of Lung Cancer in US Uranium Miners (Cincinnati: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1987).Google Scholar
  21. 20.
    G. R. Howe et al.. Meinhardt, Quantitative Risk Assessment of Lung Cancer in US Uranium Miners (Cincinnati: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1987).Google Scholar
  22. 20.
    G. R. Howe et al., ‘Lung cancer mortality (1950–1980) in relation to radon daughter exposure in a cohort of workers in the Eldorado Beaverlodge uranium mine’, J. Natl. Cancer Inst., 77 (1986), pp. 357–62.Google Scholar
  23. 20.
    J. Muller, ’Study of mortality of Ontario miners, 1955–1957, part l’, in H. Stocker (ed.), Proc. Int. Con f. Occupational Radiation Safety in Mining (Toronto: Canadian Nuclear Association, 1984). Google Scholar
  24. 20.
    E. P. Radford and K. G. Renard, ‘Lung cancer in Swedish iron miners exposed to low doses of radon daughters’, N. Eng. J. Med., 310 (1984), pp. 1485–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 21.
    A ‘working level’ is defined as any combination of 218Po,214Pb, 214Bi and 214Po in 1 litre of air that eventually results in the emission of 1.3 x 105 MeV of a-particle energy. This turns out to be approximately the amount of energy released by the four isotopes in equilibrium with 3.7 Bq of 222Rn. Thus, from Table 3.4, we see that each atom of 218Po, 214Pb and 214Bi eventually decays to 214Po which, virtually instantaneously, releases 7.68 MeV of energy as it decays to 210Pb. In addition, 218Po releases a further 6.00 MeV per atom in decaying to 214Pb. Hence the total a-energy released is (977 + 8500 + 6310) x 7.68 + 977 x 6.0 = 1.27 x 105 = 1.3 x 105 MeV. Exposure of a miner to this concentration for a working month of 170 hours (or to twice this concentration for half the time, etc) is a ‘working level month’, which thus reflects both concentration and exposure time.Google Scholar
  26. 22.
    J. I. Fabrikant, ‘Radon and lung cancer: the BEIR IV report’, Health Physics, 59 (1990), pp. 89–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 23.
    National Radiological Protection Board, Exposure to Radon Daughters in Dwellings, NRPB G56 ( Chilton: NRPB, 1987 ).Google Scholar
  28. 24.
    M. W. Courtis, ‘The incidence of high radon concentration in United Kingdom domestic properties’, J. Radiol. Prot., 10 (1990), pp. 205–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 25.
    D. L. Henshaw, J. P. Eatough and R. B. Richardson, ‘Radon: a causative factor in the induction of myeloid leukaemia and other cancers in adults and children?’, Lancet, 335 (1990), pp. 1008–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 26.
    N. H. Harley and T. B. Terilli, ‘Predicting annual average indoor 222Rn concentration’, Health Physics, 59 (1990), pp. 205–9.Google Scholar
  31. 27.
    D. S. Sutherland, ‘Abstract: radon in Northamptonshire, England: geochemical investigation of some Jurassic sedimentary rocks’, Env. Geochem. Health, 13 (1991), pp. 143–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 28.
    Building Research Establishment, Radon: Guidance on Protective Measures for New Dwellings ( Garston: BRE, 1991 ).Google Scholar
  33. 29.
    Reviewed in J. A. Bonnel, ‘Effects of electric fields near power-transmission plant’, J. Roy. Soc. Med., 75 (1982), p. 933.Google Scholar
  34. 30.
    Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations.Google Scholar
  35. 31.
    M. Reichmanis, F. S. Perry, A. A. Marino and R. O. Becker, ‘Relation between suicide and the electro-magnetic field of overhead power lines’, Physiol. Chem. Phys., 11 (1979), pp. 395–403.Google Scholar
  36. 32.
    See M. Coleman and V. Beral, ‘A review of epidemiological studies of the health effects of living near or working with electricity generation and transmission equipment’, Int. J. Epid. 17 (1988), pp. 1–13. Also Bonnel, see Reference [29].CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 33.
    F. S. Perry, M. Reichmanis, A. A. Marino and R. O. Becker, ‘Environmental power frequency - magnetic fields and suicide’, Health Physics, 41 (1981), p. 267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 34.
    E. Wertheimer and E. Leeper, ‘Electrical wiring configuration and childhood cancer’, Am. J. Epid., 109 (1979), pp. 273–84.Google Scholar
  39. D. A. Savitz, H. Wachtel, F. A. Barnes, E. M. John and J. G. Tvrdik, ‘Case-control study of childhood cancer and exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields?’, Am. J. Epid., 128 (1988), pp. 21–38.Google Scholar
  40. S. J. London et al., ‘Exposure to residential electric and magnetic fields and risk of childhood leukaemia’, Am. J. Epid., 134 (1991), pp. 923–37.Google Scholar
  41. 35.
    D. A. Savitz and L. Feingold, ‘Association of childhood cancer with residential traffic density’, Scand. J. Work Environ. Health, 15 (1989), pp. 360–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 36.
    K. McLaughlan, ‘Are environmental magnetic fields dangerous?’, Physics World (January 1992), pp. 41–5.Google Scholar
  43. 37.
    I. Nair, G. Morgan and H. K. Florig, Biological Effects of Power Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields ( Washington, DC: Office of Technology Assessment, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  44. 38.
    K. R. Foster and W. F. Pickard, ‘Microwaves: the risks of risk research’, Nature, 330 (1987), pp. 531–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 39.
    Synergism refers to the cooperative action of separate sources such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the effects of the sources acting independently.Google Scholar
  46. 40.
    National Radiological Protection Board, Electromagnetic Fields and the Risk of Cancer, DOCS, NRPB, Vol. 3, No. 1 ( London: HMSO, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  47. 41.
    Iam grateful to Mr Trevor Gregory, Professors Terry Lane and John Moohan, and Dr Tony Waltham for reviewing all or part of this chapter.Google Scholar

Further reading

  1. D. J. Brenner, Radon, Risk and Remedy ( New York: Freeman, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  2. E. M. Bridges, Surveying Derelict Land (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987 ).Google Scholar
  3. T. Cairney (ed.), Contaminated Land: Problems and Solutions ( London: ESFN Spon, 1992 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Colin Ferguson 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Ferguson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations