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Article

Maria M. Johnstone, Paul S. Phillips and Antony R. Denman

An extensive radon remediation programme in National Health Service properties in Northamptonshire has been conducted since 1992 and has resulted in many buildings with…

Abstract

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.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article

A.R. Denman and Paul S. Phillips

Northamptonshire is classified as a radon affected area, with greater than 1 per cent of domestic dwellings being above the UK Action Level of 200Bq m‐3. Workplace radon

Abstract

Northamptonshire is classified as a radon affected area, with greater than 1 per cent of domestic dwellings being above the UK Action Level of 200Bq m‐3. Workplace radon is also a health risk in Northamptonshire, with a significant number of premises being predicted to be above this Action Level (400Bq m‐3). After an extensive survey in National Health Service premises, using track etch detectors and real time monitoring systems, it was found that certain staff were receiving very high doses ‐ up to around 20mSv. The annual collective dose from radon, in the rooms with elevated levels, was 285mSv, an average of 4.45mSv. After remediation of the rooms the average dose fell to 0.5mSv. The average cost of radon remediation in National Health Service premises was £3,950 per location. This compares to a value of £1,953 for locations in schools in Northamptonshire. It is possible that remediation costs for the majority of small to medium enterprises in the country will, on our conservative estimate of 6 per cent being above the Action Level, be in the region of £1,460,000. Further monitoring of workplace radon is taking place across the county in an attempt to determine more accurately the full extent of the problem.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article

K.W. Mui, L.T. Wong and S.L. Au‐Yeung

To determine the radon emanation rates of common partition materials in Hong Kong.

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the radon emanation rates of common partition materials in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

An initial slope of radon gas growth against time and a mass balance analysis can be used to quantify the magnitude of these rates from different types of partition materials. In particular, the radon‐222 emanations from boards of calcium silicate, gypsum and lightweight concrete were measured experimentally in a small impervious radon chamber.

Findings

The radon‐222 emanations from boards of calcium silicate, gypsum and lightweight concrete were measured experimentally in a small impervious radon chamber, and expressed as becquerels per square meter per hour of air (Bq m−2 hr−1). The rates found were 2.43, 0.22 and 0.46 Bq m−2 hr(1 respectively. Comparing with the emanation rate and the quantities of radon emitting construction materials in Hong Kong, these three partition materials have a low radon emitting level.

Research limitations/implications

The model parameters used in the study were not exhaustive and were determined from samples of materials used in Hong Kong.

Practical implications

A useful source of reference for determining the radon emanation rates of common partition materials used in building developments. The results can be used to identify the exposure risk of radon in buildings.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a mathematical model of radon emanation rates of common partition materials. The model offers practical helps to professionals planning, designing and managing the selection of building materials in buildings.

Details

Facilities, vol. 23 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

D.W. Dixon and C. Scivyer

The Government has recognised the significance of exposures in houses to the natural radioactive gas radon and has over the past decade initiated various campaigns in…

Abstract

The Government has recognised the significance of exposures in houses to the natural radioactive gas radon and has over the past decade initiated various campaigns in conjunction with NRPB, BRE and local authorities to mitigate its effects. This article explains the principal features of the programme to reduce radon exposures in existing housing, which is based on encouraging occupiers to measure radon levels in their homes and publicising the availability of cheap and effective remedies. The important role is noted of professional groups such as surveyors in the housing market and detailed descriptions provided of the main methods of reducing radon levels and their suitability for particular buildings. The importance of raising radon awareness amongst professionals is noted and sources of further information are provided including technical reports on remedial measures.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article

Denis L. Henshaw

Discusses the radioactive gas radon, outlining its structure andhow it enters the home. Explores methods of measuring the gas,highlighting research carried out at Bristol…

Abstract

Discusses the radioactive gas radon, outlining its structure and how it enters the home. Explores methods of measuring the gas, highlighting research carried out at Bristol University on a plastic material called Tastrak. Exposes the health threat associated with radon and links quantities of the substance with incidences of leukaemia.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article

Daryl W. Dixon

Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking and is estimated to be responsible for between about 3 and 5 per cent of UK lung cancer deaths…

Abstract

Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking and is estimated to be responsible for between about 3 and 5 per cent of UK lung cancer deaths. This risk is larger than many about which people frequently show concern and will often act to reduce. Radon can also accumulate in workplaces to levels at which action is required by UK legislation. It is important, therefore, to understand the factors that contribute to these doses, how they can be reduced and to develop effective programmes to reduce excessive exposures. The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) provides a national point of reference on the risks and measurement of radon, evaluates the effectiveness of remedial programmes and works closely with many other groups to highlight and promote measures that are effective in reducing radon levels.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article

Alan Blythe

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has been campaigning for a more appropriate and sympathetic government approach to radon since 1987. Its…

Abstract

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has been campaigning for a more appropriate and sympathetic government approach to radon since 1987. Its professional members, Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), are at the “sharp end” of most initiatives aimed at securing higher levels of mitigation in both occupied dwellings and the majority of workplaces. Whilst Government policies on radon detection and remediation have so far emphasised mainly measurement and advice to affected householders, the CIEH will have to develop more appropriate campaign strategies to press Government to modify their initiatives so that a much more meaningful impact can be made in public protection terms to tackle the serious health risk still posed by radon in the UK.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article

Frederick Marley and Paul S. Phillips

Mitigation of radon gas and radon progeny in buildings is based largely on reducing the pressure difference between the point of the radiation source and the point of…

Abstract

Mitigation of radon gas and radon progeny in buildings is based largely on reducing the pressure difference between the point of the radiation source and the point of entry to indoor air. The method is adopted in the mitigation of excess radon concentrations with the installation of a sump arrangement, relieving the pressure emanating from the sub‐soil. However, this proved ineffective in reducing radon levels in a large retail store, whereas the utilisation of the existing air‐conditioning/ventilation system was wholly effective in meeting legal norms for the workplace. The initial study found that the reduction in radon levels brought about by the operation of the system was in absolute terms, and the rate of reduction was a constant which allowed an accurate estimate of the levels at a point in time from the start‐up of the system. Importantly, the operation of the air‐movement system reduced the progeny level substantially, relative to the radon gas.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article

Chris Scivyer and Kim Noonan

This paper describes work undertaken by Building Research Establishment Limited (BRE) for the Building Regulations Division of the UK Department of the Environment…

Abstract

This paper describes work undertaken by Building Research Establishment Limited (BRE) for the Building Regulations Division of the UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, as part of a study into radon protective measures used in new dwellings. The aim of the study was to establish whether the radon protective measures that are routinely installed in the UK provide long term protection against radon and do not result in any long term building defects. A sample of 73 houses monitored for radon shortly after construction were contacted ten years later to see whether radon levels remain low and check for signs of any construction defects. The results of the study have confirmed that the protective measures continue to provide adequate radon protection, without causing any adverse side effects. This offers confidence that the measures will continue to provide protection over the lifetime of the buildings.

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article

A.F. Maged and E.A. Saad

Large amounts of uranium, radium and radium products are redistributed throughout the environment owing to the use of phosphate fertilizers. Potential radiological impacts…

Abstract

Large amounts of uranium, radium and radium products are redistributed throughout the environment owing to the use of phosphate fertilizers. Potential radiological impacts resulting from direct exposure, inhalation and ingestion of foods grown with fertilizers are discussed. This paper describes a simple method to measure exhalation rate of 222RN from phosphate fertilizers, clay and potatoes in a laboratory and in a more economical way. Three Egyptian factories of phosphate fertilizers were selected in this study (Assuit, Abu Zaable and Kafr El Ziat).

Details

Environmental Management and Health, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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