• Douglas J. Crawford-Brown
  • Jacqueline Michel
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 35)


The discussion in other chapters indicates that the prediction of risk from the 222Rn decay chain in air requires a knowledge of the average concentration of each of the progeny throughout the period of exposure. The most accurate calculations of the dose to the lung use the separate estimates of the concentration of each of the progeny, requiring that the contribution of each to the total exposure be measured separately. An alternative approach is simply to measure the working level concentration directly, which implies that only the total potential alpha energy is measured in the sample of air. While this approach avoids several problems with instrumentation needs, it suffers from the fact that there is not a one-to-one correspondence between working level months (WLM) and dose to the lung. Under many environmental conditions, however, the correspondence is close enough (accurate to within about 20%) to justify use of the WLM as the index of exposure. In addition, the concentration of the progeny can also be estimated by measuring only the 222Rn concentration and then applying standard equlibrium ratios to estimate the concentration of the progeny. Since these ratios can depend on atmospheric conditions and ventilation rates, care must be taken to ensure that correct ratios for the particular structure are employed. The reader should refer to the chapter on exposures (Chapter 5) for a discussion of typical equilibrium ratios.


Radon Concentration Radon Progeny Radon Content Photo Courtesy Alpha Track 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    T. F. Gesell, Background atmospheric radon concentrations outdoors and indoors: A review, Health Phys. 43, 277–289 (1983).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    “Grand Junction Remedial Action Criteria,” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Part 712 (10CFR712).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. C. George, Instruments and methods for measuring indoor radon and radon progeny concentrations, in: Indoor Radon, pp. 87–101, Air Pollution Control Association, Pittsburgh, PA (1986).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. F. Lucas, Jr., Alpha scintillation radon counting, in: Workshop on Methods for Measuring Radiation in and around Uranium Mills (E. D. Harward, ed.), Vol. 3, pp. 69–95, Atomic Industrial Forum, Bethesda, MD (1977).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    H. F. Lucas, Jr., Improved low-level alpha scintillation counters for radon, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 28, 680–685 (1957).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    A. C. George, Scintillation flasks for the determination of low level concentrations of radon, in: Proceedings of the Ninth Midyear Health Physics Symposium, Colorado Chapter of the Health Physics Society, Denver, CO (1976), pp. 112–115.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    C. W. Sill, An integrating air sampler for determination of Rn-222, Health Phys. 16, 371–377 (1969).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    J. W. Thomas and R. J. Countess, Continuous radon monitor, Health Phys. 36, 734–738 (1979).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    W. W. Nazaroff, F. J. Offerman, and A. W. Robb, Automated system for measuring air exchange rate and radon concentration in houses, Health Phys. 45, 525–539 (1983).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. Harley (ed.), HASL Procedures Manual, Health and Safety Laboratory Report HASL-300, New York (1972).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. E. Wrenn, Design of a continuous digital output environmental radon monitor, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 22, 645–648 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    M. E. Wrenn and H. B. Spitz, The design and application of a continuous digital readout radon measuring instrument, in: Workshop on Methods for Measuring Radiation in and around Uranium Mills (E. D. Harward, ed.), Vol. 3, pp. 119–130, Atomic Industrial Forum, Bethesda, MD (1977).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    R. Rolle, Rapid working level monitoring, Health Phys. 22, 233–238 (1972).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    A. C. George and A. J. Breslin, Measurement of environmental radon with integrating instruments, in: Workshop on Methods for Measuring Radiation in and around Uranium Mills (E. D. Harward, ed.), Vol. 3, Atomic Industrial Forum, Bethesda, MD (1977), pp. 105–115.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. W. Thomas and P. C. LeClare, A study of the two filter method for Rn-222, Health Phys. 18, 113–122 (1970).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    A. C. George, A cumulative environmental radon monitor, in: Proceedings of the Ninth Midyear Health Physics Symposium, pp. 116–120, Colorado Chapter of the Health Physics Society, Denver, CO (1976).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    A. C. George, Passive integrated measurement of indoor radon using activated carbon, Health Phys. 46, 867–872 (1984).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    B. L. Cohen and E. S. Cohen, Theory and practice of radon monitoring with charcoal adsorption, Health Phys. 45, 501–508 (1983).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    E. L. Geiger, Radon film badge, Health Phys. 13, 407–411 (1967).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    H. W. Alter and R. L. Fleischer, Passive integrating radon monitor for environmental monitoring, Health Phys. 40, 693–702 (1981).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    M. Urban and E. Piesch, Low level environmental radon dosimetry with a passive track etch device, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 1, 97 (1982).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    H. L. Kusnetz, Radon daughters in mine atmospheres. A field method for determining concentrations, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 17, 85 (1956).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    E. G. Tsviglou, H. E. Ayers, and D. A. Holaday, Occurrence of nonequilibrium atmospheric mixtures of radon and daughters, Nucleonics 11, 40 (1953).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    C. Rangarajan and S. Gopalakrishnan, The estimation of the relative concentrations of short-lived radon daughters by gamma measurements, Health Phys. 24, 433–436 (1973).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    L. B. Lockhart, R. L. Patterson, and C. R. Hosier, Determination of Radon Concentration in Air through Measurement of Its Solid Decay Products, Report 6229, U.S. Naval Research Lab, Washington, DC (1965).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    D. E. Martz, D. F. Holleman, D. E. McCurdy, and K.J. Schiager, Analysis of atmospheric concentrations of RaA, RaB and RaC by alpha spectros-copy, Health Phys. 17, 131–138 (1969).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    J. Bigu, R. Raz, K. Golden, and P. Dominquez, A Computer Based Continuous Monitor for the Determination of the Short Lived Decay Products of Radon and Thoron, Division Report MPR/MRL 83 (OP) J, Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technologies, Energy, Mines and Resources of Canada, Elliott Lake, Ontario (1983).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    J. A. Auxier, K. Becker, E. M. Robinson, D. R. Johnson, R. H. Boyett, and C. H. Abner, A new radon progeny personnel dosimeter, Health Phys. 21, 126–128 (1971).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    D. B. Lovett, Track etch detectors for alpha exposure estimation, Health Phys. 16, 623–628 (1969).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    K. Becker, Alpha particle registration in plastics and its applications for radon and neutron personnel dosimetry, Health Phys. 16, 113–123 (1969).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    O. White, Jr., Environmental Measurements Lab, Report HASL TM 71-17, New York (1971).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    K. J. Schiager, Integrating radon progeny air sampler, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 35, 165 (1974).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    A. J. Breslin, S. F. Guggenheim, A. C. George, and R. T. Graveson, A Working Level Dosimeter for Uranium Miners, Report EML-333, U.S. Department of Energy, New York (1977).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    F. S. Guggenheim, A. C. George, R. T. Graveson, and A. J. Breslin, A time-integrating environmental radon daughter monitor, Health Phys. 36, 452–455 (1979).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    O. White, Jr., USAEC Health and Safety Laboratory (now the Environmental Measurements Lab) Report HASL TM 69-23A, New York (1969).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    J. Bigu and R. Kaldenbach, Theory, operation and performance of a time-integrating continuous radon/thoron daughter working level monitor, Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 9, 19 (1984).Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    M. Eisenbud, In-vivo measurement of Pb-210 as an indicator of cumulative radon daughter exposure in uranium mines, Health Phys. 16, 637–646 (1969).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    H. L. Fisher, Jr., A model for estimating the inhalation exposure to radon-222 and daughter products from the accumulated lead-210 body burden, Health Phys. 16, 597–616 (1969).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    R. F. Bell and J. C. Gilliland, Urinary lead-210 as an index of mine radon exposure, in: Radiological Health and Safety in the Mining and Milling of Nuclear Materials, Vol. 2, pp. 411–412, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (1964).Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    J. Michel and W. S. Moore, Sources and Behavior of Natural Radioactivity in Fall Line Aquifers near Larvette, S.C., Water Resources Research Institute Report No. 83, Clemson University, Clemson, SC (1980).Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    H. M. Pritchard and T. F. Gesell, An estimate of population exposure due to radon in public water supplies in the area of Houston, Texas, Health Phys. 41, 599 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    M. Asikainen, State of disequilibrium between 238U, 234U, 226Ra, and 222Rn in groundwater from bedrock, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 45, 201–206 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    H. F. Lucas, A fast and accurate survey technique for both radon-222 and radium-226, in: Natural Radiation Environment (J. A. S. Adams and W. M. Lowder, eds.), University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1964).Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    H. M. Prichard, T. F. Gesell, and C. R. Meyer, Liquid scintillation analyses for radium-226 and radon-222 in potable waters, in: Liquid Scintillation Counting, Recent Applications and Development, Volume 1, Physical Aspects (C-T. Peng, D. L. Horrocks, and E. L. Alpen, eds.), Academic Press, New York, pp. 347–355 (1980).Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    H. M. Pritchard and T. F. Gesell, Rapid measurement of 222Rn concentration in water with a commercial liquid scintillation counter, Health Phys. 33, 577–581 (1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Research Planning Institute, Inc., Statistical Analysis of Analytical Methods for Radionuclide in Drinking Water, Report to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Drinking Water, Washington, DC (1986).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas J. Crawford-Brown
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Michel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Research Planning Institute, Inc.ColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations