Radon concentration is expressed as the amount of radiation that would be emitted by radon and its decay products in a liter of air; thus the units are picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The American Cancer Society, on its Web site, states that the estimates for lung cancer deaths caused by radon each year is between 15,400 and 21,800.
The Health Physics Society (HPS) offers the following recommendations to assist members of the public in addressing the potential risks from exposure to radon in the indoor environment:
The radon concentration in a dwelling can only be determined by testing; therefore, the HPS recommends that homes be tested. Approved, "do-it-yourself," short- or long-term radon test kits can be purchased directly from radon laboratories or from retail outlets. Appropriate radon test devices and qualified radon measurement specialists are those that have been approved by the National Environmental Health Association, the National Radon Safety Board, or a state radon program. Because radon concentrations undergo daily and seasonal variation, long-term radon tests (those detectors exposed in the home for more than 90 days) provide a better estimate of the annual average radon concentration.
At levels of 4 pCi/L or more, EPA encourages members of the public to take steps to reduce the radon concentrations and to consider action at levels above 2 pCi/L. The HPS concurs with the EPA's guideline of 4 pCi/L. However, because 4 pCi/L is not a definite line between "safe" and "unsafe," the HPS also recommends that the public consider action at levels below 4 pCi/L. Recent residential epidemiological studies have demonstrated that there is a statistically significant increased risk of lung cancer at concentrations as low as 2.7 pCi/L.
For existing homes with radon concentrations at or above 4 pCi/L, proper radon mitigation can almost always reduce levels below 2 pCi/L. Homeowners, or others responsible for a particular building, should contact a qualified radon mitigation specialist to determine the appropriate actions to be taken to reduce indoor radon concentrations. Confirmatory tests should be made after mitigation to ensure that the system is working properly.
For new construction, particularly in areas designated by the EPA or state radon programs as having the potential for indoor radon concentrations exceeding 4 pCi/L, radon-reducing features or a full mitigation system should be installed at the time of construction. Nationwide, the average cost of installing radon-resistant systems in new construction is in the range of several hundred dollars, while the cost of mitigating an existing home often exceeds $1,000.
The Health Physics Society consists of over 5,500 radiation safety professionals whose activities include ensuring safe and beneficial uses of radiation and radioactive materials, assisting in the development of standards and regulations, and communicating radiation safety information. The Society is a nonprofit organization formed in 1956. Its primary mission is excellence in the science and practice of radiation safety. The Society has members in 44 countries and has established 45 chapters and 14 student branches.
The entire Health Physics Society position statement on indoor radon and the background information on which these recommendations were made can be viewed from the Society's position statement page http://hps.org/hpspublications/positionstatements.html
Kelly Classic | EurekAlert!
Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University
Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences