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RADON CHARACTERISTICS

COLORLESS GAS ODOURLESS GAS TASTELESS GAS NATURALLY OCCURRING RADIOACTIVE INERT(DOES NOT CHEMICALLY REACT)

SIMPLE MODEL OF AN ATOM


ATOM COMPRISES OF NUCLEUS -PROTON(+) -NEUTRON(NEUTRAL) ELECTRON(-)

RADIOACTIVE DECAY
OCCURS SPONTANEOUSLY AN ATOM CHANGE IDENTITY RADIOTION RELEASE IN THE PROCESS

RADON ENTRY
RADON<RADIUM<URANIUM

MEANING OF HALF LIFE


HALF LIFE IS THE TIME REQUIRED FOR HALF OF THE ATOM TO DECAY IT IS NOT THE TIME FOR ALL OF THE ATOM TO DECAY

RADON DECAY PRODUCT CHATERISTIC


SOURCE OF CELL DAMAGE IN LUNGS SHORT LIVED PRODUCTS MOST SIGNIFICANT HAVE STATIC CHARGES CHEMICALLY REACTIVE SOLID PARTICLES HEAVY METALS

FATE OF INDOOR RADON


RADON- 222 > RADON DECAY PRODUCTS : - AIRBONE : breathable, measureable - PLATED-OUT : non-breathable, nonmeasureable

RELATIVE PENETRATING POWER

RADON MEASUREMENT UNITS


One picoCurie per liter (pCi/L) is 2.22 disintegrations per minute within that liter. This comes from the fact that one Curie is 37 billion disintegrations per second (dps) and: One picoCurie is one trillionth of a Curie (0.37 dps) There are 60 seconds in a minute (60x 0.37 = 2.22)

INTERNATIONAL RADON UNIT : THE BEQUEREL


One Bequerel cubic meter (Bq/m) is one disintegrations per second within that cubic meter. Bequerel = 1 disintegration per second 1 pCi/L = 37 Bq/m

RADON DECAY PRODUCT UNITS : THE WORKING LEVEL (WL)


1 Working Level is the amount of short-lived radon decay products that would ultimately come from the complete disintegration of 100 pCi/L of radon (assuming all RDPs produced are measured). 1 Working Level is the amount of short-lived radon decay products that exist at any one moment if a room constantly maintained at 100 pCi/L (assuming all RDPs produced are measured)

EQUILIBRIUM RATIO (ER)


The equilibrium ratio describes the fraction of RDPs that are suspended in the air, and therefore measurable, to the total RDPs created. ER = Measured RDPs Total RDPs

FACTORS AFFECTING EQUILIBRIUM RATIO


Air circulation - Increases plate-out, thereby decreasing ER Electronic air filters - Decreases RDPs attached to dust particles, thereby decreasing ER. Suspended dust, smoke - Increases sites for RDPs so fewer plate-out. Recent ventilation - Inadequate time for RDPs to have been formed. 0.3 > ER > 0.7

FATE OF INDOOR RADON


Radon-222 > Radon Decay Products : - Unattached Fractions - Attached to Dust particled - Attached to External Objects

HEALTH EFFECTS OF RADON AND ITS DECAY PRODUCTS

RADON IS A KNOWN HUMAN CARCINOGEN


Alpha particles from the radon decay products can damage lung tissue. Lung cancer is the main health effect

HISTORY
An unknown lung disease in miners in the 1400s Identified in 1879 in autopsies of European miners as lung cancer (lymphosarcoma) Excess lung cancer deaths observed in uranium miners in U.S., Czechoslovakia, France, and Canada Excess lung cancer deaths in other underground miners in Newfoundland, Sweden, Britain, France, China, and U.S.

MECHANISM OF LUNG CANCER INDUCTION


Radon and RDPs breathed in Radon exhaled RDPs remain stuck to lung tissue Po-218 and Po-214 emit alpha particles Alpha particles strike lung cells causing physical and/or chemical damage to DNA

HOW RDPs IMPACT LUNG TISSUE


RDPs stick to lung Alpha energy delivered directly to cells

SCIENTIFIC BASIC FOR RADON RISK ESTIMATES


Studies on Miners Committee on the biological effects of ionizing radiation (BIER) - National Academy of Sciences, and NRC Studies on Residential Occupants Laboratory Animal Studies

EXCESS LUNG CANCER RISK


Linear No threshold Indicates no safe level Many homes can provide similar cumulative exposures

RESIDENTIAL STUDIES
Ecological studies - Compare regionally recorded lung cancer deaths to regional radon readings. - Not recommended due to transient nature of population and wide radon variation within an area.

RESIDENTIAL STUDIES
Case Control Studies - Compare an individuals radon exposure to medical history. - Many studies have occurred and on-going.

SOURCES OF RADIATION EXPOSURE TO THE US POPULATION


Assumes average indoor radon concentration of 1.3 pCi/L. Radon is by far the greatest single sources.

ANIMAL STUDIES
Confirmed RDPs cause cancer. Provided data on exposure-response relationships. Less useful for determining interaction of RDPs and smoking.

REGULATORY COMPARISON OF RADON TO OTHER GROUP A CARCINOGENS


Manmade Group As Always regulated Standard of exposure set at 1 death per 1000000 people/year Radon Not regulated in home has been regulated in mines since 1950s. Present guideline of 4.0 pCi/L estimates 28 deaths per 1000000 people/year.

ENVIROMENTAL RISK COMPARISONS



Annual Cancer Deaths Pesticide Applications 100 Hazardous Waste Sites 1100 Toxic Outdoor Pollutants 2000 Pesticide Residues on Food 6000 RADON 14000

LUNG CANCER AND SMOKING


6579 lung cancer deaths per 1000000 people in 70 years, from smoking Assuming a populations of 250000000 this represents 158000 lung cancer deaths per year. 14000 lung cancer deaths per year from radon. 81% to 95% of lung cancer deaths are from smoking alone.

COMPARISON OF RADON TO OTHER CAUSES OF DEATH


20000 18000 16000 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Drunk Driving Radon Drownings Fires Airline Crashes

RADON ENTRY AND BEHAVIOUR

THE LEVEL OF RADON IN A BUILDING DEPENDS UPON :


Strength of the radon source - The concentration of uranium and radium in the soil or underlying geology. Ease of transport to the building - Soil permeability, pathways, and openings to the building. Ventilation rate of building - Low ventilation rates do not cause high radon, but rather the final concentration after entering the building.

AVERAGED CONTRIBUTIONS FROM RADON SOURCES IN US HOMES


The movement of soil gas into a home is the predominant entry route. These are averages and a particular home can be different.

ENTRY ROUTE: DIFFUSIONSMOVEMENT OF RADON THROUGH MATERIALS


Caused by concentration gradients. Generally a low entry rate.

ENTRY ROUTE: EMANATION- RELEASE OF RADON FROM SURFACE OF MATERIALS


Rocks and other building materials can contain uranium and radium. Radon created on surface can be emitted into room. Rate depends on radium content and surface area.

RESULTS OF STATE SURVEYS OF ACTUAL INDOOR RADON CONCENTRATIONS


Showed areas of elevated radon, not strictly predicted by geological mapping. Significant variations within areas and even adjacent homes.

RADON CONCENTRATIONS IN SOIL GAS VARY FROM LOCATION TO LOCATION


Within short distances, depending on: - Radium concentration - Airflow through soil Over time - Season, etc.

RADON ENTRY VARIES FROM BUILDING TO BUILDING

RADON TRANSPORT THROUGH SOIL TO BUILDING REQUIRES :


Driving force - A force that draws or pushes the radon toward the building A pathway to the home - Soil pores, or utility trenches, etc. Openings in the foundation - Joints, cracks, earthen areas, utility penetrations, etc.

THE PREDOMINANT DRIVING FORCE IS BUILDING INDUCED SOIL SUCTION


Buildings can create vacuums that will draw soil gas in. These vacuums are very small and are referred to as air pressure differentials.

MECHANICALLY INDUCED NEGATIVE PRESSURES CAN INCREASE ENTRY


As exhaust systems operate, infiltration increases causing : - Increased outside air - Increased soil gas entry

THERMAL BY-PASSES ENHANCE STACK EFFECT


Openings between floors in a building enhance the upward movement of warm, light air. This enhances the stack effect.

ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: FROST OR OTHER FACTORS THAT CAP SOIL


Frost can cap the soil so negative pressure of building is exerted on larger area. Asphalt aprons around large buildings can have the same effect.

RAIN EFFECTS
Can cap the soil. Can displace soil gas and force into building. Often accompanied with barometric pressure changes.

WIND CAN CAUSE SEVERAL EFFECTS


Structure negative - Bernoulli effects, and down-wind openings Structure positive with upwind openings Soil positive - Wind pushing beneath

THERE MANY PATH WAY FOR RADON TO FOLLOW TO REACH A BUILDING


NATURAL -PORES OR VOID SPACE IN SOIL, i.e. PERMEABILITY OF UNDERLYING SOILS -CRACKS,FISSURES IN UNDERLYING GEOLOGY MAN-MADE -LOOSE FILL BENEATH FOUNDATION -ALONG ULTILITY LINE TRENCHES -ALONG AND INTO WATER DRAINAGE SYSTEMS

OPENINGS IN THE STRUCTURE ALLOW RADON ENTRY


FOUNDATION TYPE CONSTRUCTION DETAILS -JONTS, ULTILITY PENETRATIONS -UNFINISHED EARTHEN AREAS WATER DRAINAGE COLLECTION SYSTEMS

EFFECT OF VENTILATION RATES ON RADON CONCENTRATION


STUDIES ON GROUPS OF HOMES AND INDIVIDUAL HOMES DO NOT SHOW A CORRELATION BETWEEN LOW VENTILATION RATES AND HIGH RADON -THE RADON SOURCE STRENGTH IS THE CONTROLLING VARIABLE -THOSE FACTORS THAT MODERATELY INCREASE VENTILATION CAN ALSO INCREASE RADON ENTRY,SO INCREASED VENTILATION HAS ONLY MODERATE IMPACT

RADON LEVEL ARE TYPICALLY HIGHER IN LOWER LEVELS OF HOME


6 5

4
3 2 1 0 Series 1 Series 2 Series 3

Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Category 4

RADON ENTRY IS VARIABLE SINCE THE DRIVING FORCES ARE VARIABLE


PRESSURE DIFFERENTIALS CAN CHANGE RAPIDLY -TEMPERATURE CHANGES -WEATHER CHANGE -OCCUPANT USE OF EXHAUST EQUIPMENT. -TWO DAY INTEGRATING MEASUREMENTS MINIMUM

OVERALL RADON ENTRY IS SEASONAL


ENTRY RATES CAN BE HIGHER IN : -COLD CLIMATES IN WINTER -HOT CLIMATES IN SUMMER -TROPICAL CLIMATES IN RAINY SEASON

RADON MITIGATION STRATEGIES


REDUCE RADON ENTRY -BY COLLECTING IT PRIOR TO ENTRY INTO THE BUILDING AND DISCHARGING IT TO A SAFE LOCATION -BY MODIFYING BUILDING PRESSURE DIFFERENTIALS OR SEALING ENTRY POINTS REDUCE RADON CONCENTRATION AFTER ENTRY -BY DILUTION WITH INCREASE VENTILATION -BY FILTERING RADON AND RPDs FROM THE AIR

RADON MITIGATION SYSTEM DESIGN CRITERIA


EFFECTIVE IN EDUCING RADON -EXPECTATION OF LESS THAN 2.0 pCi/L, per CITIZENS GUIDE UNOBTRUSIVE AND QUITE DURABLE AND CAPABLE OF INDICATING SYSTM FAILURE ECONOMIAL TO INSTALL, OPERATE , AND MAINTAIN

METHODS THAT REDUCE RADON ENTRY VIA SOIL DEPRESSURIZATION

ACTIVE SOIL DEPRUSSATION (ASD)


ASD REDUCES RADON ENTRY BY MECHANICALLY CREATING A SUCTION BENEATH THE FOUNDATION STRONGER THAN THE SUCTION APPLIED BY THE BUILDING ASD ALSO COLLECTS RADON PRIOR TO ENTRY AND EXHAUSTS IT TO A SAFE LOCATION OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING ITS APPLICATION DEPENDS ON THE TYPE OF FOUNDATION

ASD SUB-SLAB DEPRESSSURIZATION(SSD)


SUCTION CREATED BY FAN DRAWS RADON FROM BENEATH A CONCRETE SLAB AND VENTS TH RADON OUTDOORS (ADE GAMBO UMAH)

ASD: SUB-MEMBRANE DEPRESSURIZATION (SMD)


SUCTION CREATED UNDER PLASTIC SHEET PLACED ON EXPOSED SOIL OR ROCK RADON COLLECTED AND EXHAUSTED OUTDOORS

ASD: SUMP/DRAIN-TILE DEPRESSURIZATION (DTD)


SUCTION APPLIED TO SUMP OR DRAIN TILE DRAWS RADON FROM BENEATH THE BUILDING AND EXHAUST IT HARMLESSLY OUTSIDE

ASD: BLOCK WALL DEPRESSURIZATION (BWD)


RADON LADEN AIR IS COLLECTED FROM VOIDS IN BLOCKS WALLS ND EXHAUSTED TO A SAFE LOCATION OUTDOORS

ASD BASEBOARD DEPRUSSURIZATION (BBD)


SUCTION IS CREATED ON FLOOR-TO WALL JOINT(& ADJACENT BLOCK WALL) TO COLLECT RADON AND EXHAUST IT OUTDOORS

METHODS THAT DISCOURAGE RADON ENTRY

SUB SLAB PRESSUZATION (SSP) OR SOIL PRESSURIZATION


SOIL GAS CAN BE DIVERTED AWAY FROM A HOME BY FORCING AIR BENEATH A SLAB FOUNDATION

REDUCING ENTRY BY PRESSURIZING BUILDING RELATIVE TO SOIL


INTERIOR CONDITIONAL AIR IS FORCED INTO LOWER LEVEL FROM UPPER LEVEL OF BUILDING STOPS ENTRY INTO LOWER LEVEL, BUT WILL INCREASE THE INFLITRATION OF OUTSIDE AIR INCREASE THE INFILTRATION OF OUTSIDE AIR INCREASING HEATING COSTS

METHODS THAT REDUCE RADON BY DILUTION OR VENTILATION

VENTILASION METHODS
INCREASING THE FRESH AIR MAKE UP TO A BUILDING CAN DILUTE RADON AND OTHER INDOOR AIR CONTAMINANTS INCREASING AIR MAKE UP CAN REDUCE THE NEGATIVE PRESSURES WITHIN A BUILDING, THEREBY DECREASING THE RADON ENTRY

VENTILATION APPROACHES
ISOLATING AND VENTILATING SUBSTRUCTURES SUCH AS CRAWL SPACES PASSIVELY ADDING FRESH AIR MAKE-UP TO LIVING SPACES ACTIVELY ADDING FRESH AIR MAKE UP TO A LIVING SPACE, WHILE REMOVING INTERIOR AIR WITH SOME MEANS OF HEAT RECOVERY

Mitigation technique that remove radon or rdps from the air

CHARCOAL ADSORPTION FOR LOW LEVEL OF RADON


LOW LEVEL OF RADON ARE ADSORBED ONTO CARBON FROM THE AIR BEDS ARE ALTERNARED WITH ONE REMOVING RADON, WHILE THE OTHER IS FLUSHED WITH OUTSIDE AIR

HEPA FILTRATION OF RADON DECAY PRODUCT


HIGH EFFICIENCY OF PARTICULATE AIR (HEPA) FILTERS PRESENTS A TURTOUS PATH FOR RDPs TO PASS THROUGH RDPs PLATED OUT ON A SURFACE OF FILTERS USEFULL FOR FILTERING OUT OTHERS PARTICULATE AIRBONES MUST BE PLACED IN MANY ROOMS OR WITH A CENTRAL AIR HANDLING SYSTEM MEASURE RESULT WITH WORKING LEVEL MONITORS

ELECTROSTATIC AIR CLEANER


REMOVE DUST PARTICULATE WITH RPDs ATTACH DOES NOT AFFECT RADON SO RDPs CONTINUE TO BE CREATED AS DUST PARTICLE ARE REMOVE , THE UNATTACHED FRACTION OF RPDs CAN INCREASE REMOVE OTHER AIRBONE PARTICLES MUST BE PLACED IN EVERY ROOM OR IN A CENTRAL SYSTEM