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An extensive radon remediation programme in National Health Service properties in Northamptonshire has been conducted since 1992 and has resulted in many buildings with…
An extensive radon remediation programme in National Health Service properties in Northamptonshire has been conducted since 1992 and has resulted in many buildings with raised levels being identified and remediated. In the autumn of 1997, several of the remediated properties were surveyed in order to determine the viability of the remedial measures and the dose reduction to staff. The initial assumption that reduction factors in radon levels would be greater than reduction factors in radiation dose per person was partially confirmed. This was due to the part‐time working patterns of staff and their mobility during working hours.
A study has been undertaken of radon levels in an abandoned metalliferous mine in South‐West England. Measurements have been taken in Gunnislake Old Adit using a variety of techniques. Radon gas levels of between 30,000Bq m‐3 and 69,000Bq m‐3 have been noted in this mine, associated with radon progeny levels of between 2.6 and 4.8 working levels. These radon levels pose a health risk for regular visitors to such mines.
Northamptonshire is classified as a radon affected area, with greater than 1 per cent of houses being above the UK action level of 200Bq/m–3. New houses, in areas where…
Northamptonshire is classified as a radon affected area, with greater than 1 per cent of houses being above the UK action level of 200Bq/m–3. New houses, in areas where >10 per cent are above the action level, have to have primary protection of a radon‐proof membrane and secondary measures such as a non‐activated radon sump. New houses, in areas where 3‐10 per cent are above the action level only need the secondary measures. This research calls into question the effectiveness of this strategy. The use of radon potential maps, rather than radon in building maps, would have demonstrated that radon “hot spots”, where a very high percentage of houses are over the action level, can occur on a range of geology. One estate, at Higham Ferrers, had 35 per cent over the action level, even though it had been classified as only requiring secondary measures. The reluctance of occupiers in the UK to instigate monitoring and remediation means that very few will have their house tested for radon and activate the sump, by fitting a fan, if that is required. This paper provides arguments that support the view that it would be more effective to have primary and secondary measures introduced in all new houses in radon affected areas.