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ASSESSMENT OF THE POPULATION DOSE INDOORS FROM NATURAL RADIATION IN IRELAND WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON RADON DAUGHTER PROPERTIES AND BEHAVIOUR

Objective

ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVES OF THIS RESEARCH IS TO DETERMINE AND ASSESS THE INDOOR DOSE TO THE GENERAL POPULATION THROUGHOUT IRELAND ARISING FROM NATURAL RADIATION. PARTICULAR EMPHASIS WILL BE PLACED ON THE STUDY OF THE LEVELS AND BEHAVIOUR OF RADON AND ITS DAUGHTERS IN THE INDOOR ENVIRONMENT. A PRELIMINARY STUDY ON NATURAL RADIATION DOSES IN IRELAND UNDER CONTRACT B10-F-517-83-EIR HAS REVEALED LARGE AND SIGNIFICANT VARIATIONS IN INDOOR RADON LEVELS. THE SECOND IMPORTANT OBJECTIVE OF THIS WORK IS TO MAKE MAINLY LABORATORY STUDIES OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF AIRBORN RADON DAUGHTERS. IN PARTICULAR DETERMINATIONS OF PLATEOUT VELOCITIES AND ATTACHMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF RADON DAUGHTERS WILL BE MADE. THESE CHARACTERISTICS ARE OF IMPORTANCE TO THE PARTITIONING OF THE DAUGHTERS WITHIN AIRSPACES, TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF REMEDIAL AIRCLEANING TECHNIQUES AND TO THE PERFORMANCE OF MANY TYPES OF RADON AND RADON DAUGHTER DETECTORS.THIS PART OF THE WORK WILL BE CARRIED OUT MAINLY IN COLLABORATION WITH THE TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF DENMARK.
Substantial reductions of radon daughter PAEC in an experimental room was demonstrated using electric fields with and without unipolar ion production. It was shown, by modifing the configuration of the fields, that the plateout activity removed from the air space could be concentrated, if required, onto specific surfaces in the room, such as the ceiling. The radioactivity could, therefore, be taken away from the floor. In view of the developmental nature of these lung dose models, which have yet to be experimentally verified, this aspect of the air treatment remains an open question. By means of a new technique invented during the research it will in future work be possible to make more accurate measurements of radon daughter plateout than before.
IN THE STUDY OF THE INDOOR DOSE THE FOLLOWING DETECTORS TYPES WILL BE USED :
A. FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE MEAN LEVEL OF RADON IN DWELLINGS CALIBRATED PASSIVE INTEGRATING RADON DOSEMETERS USING ALPHA PLASTICS WILL BE USED. THE DOSIMETERS TYPE USED IS EQUIPED WITH BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TRACK PLASTICS SO THAT IN ADDITION TO A DETERMINATION OF THE MEAN CONCENTRATION OF RADON AN ESTIMATE OF THE RELATIVE DEGREE OF EQUILIBRIUM BETWEEN RADON AND ITS DAUGHTERS IN THE HOUSES SAMPLED WILL BE ONTAINED.
B. WHERE MORE DETAILED INVESTIGATIONS ON RADON DAUGHTERS IN HOUSES OR THE LABORATORY ARE TO BE MADE SURFACE BARRIER DETECTORS AND AEROSOL MEASURING EQUIPMENT WILL BE USED.
C. EXTERNAL PENETRATING RADIATION DETERMINATIONS WILL BE MADE WHEN CONSIDERED NECESSARY USING A CALIBRATED GAMMA COMPENSATED GM ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION METER AND IN SOME CASES TLD DEVICES WILL BE USED. THE PASSIVE RADON DETECTORS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED DURING THE CONTRACT PERIOD ON A RADON BASIS IN MOST REGIONS OF IRELAND. THIS WILL BE CARRIED OUT MAINLY BY POSTAL MEANS AND ALSO BY VISITS TO DWELLINGS. A QUESTIONNAIRE WILL BE USED TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ON BOTH THE OCCUPANTS AND THE HOUSE UNDER VARIOUS RELEVANT HEADINGS. DWELLINGS IN IRELAND WHICH ARE FOUND TO HAVE EITHER HIGH RADON OR EXTERNAL RADIATION LEVELS WILL BE STUDIED TO IDENTIFY SOURCES AND ANY ENHANCING FACTORS. IN THE INTERESTS OF ACCURACY AND QUALITY ASSURANCE IT IS INTENDED TO CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERCOMPARISON OF RADON AND RADON DAUGHTER TECHNIQUE ALREADY ORGANISED JOINTLY BY THE COMMISSION/OECD(NEA)/NRPB (U.K.).
APART FROM THE GENERAL HOUSING STOCK SOME NEW DWELLINGS INCORPORATING ENERGY CONSERVATION AND SOLAR ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES WILL BE INVESTIGATED TO DETERMINE WHAT EFFECT THESE BUILDING PRACTICES MAY HAVE ON RADIATION DOSE LEVELS. IN ADDITION TO THE NATIONWIDE SURVEY SPECIAL ATTENTION WILL ALSO BE GIVEN TO MEASUREMENTS ON DWELLINGS IN URANIFEROUS AREAS OF IRELAND. FOR EXAMPLE IT IS INTENDED SPECIAFICALLY TO MAKE A SMALL STUDY OF HOUSES IN THE GRANITIC AREA OF CONNEMARA (GALWAY) IN ORDER TO ASIST MEDICAL RESEARCHERS AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE GALWAY IN THEIR EPIDEMIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF A LOCAL POPULATION.
IN THE LIGHT OF CURRENT INTERNATIONAL THINKING OF THE LIMITING OF EXPOSURE OF THE PUBLIC TO NATURAL RADIATION SOME TENTATIVE COST-BENEFIT ANALYSES, RELEVANT TO IRISH ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, OF POSSIBLE PREVENTATIVE AND REMEDIAL PROCEDURES WILL BE MADE. THESE ANALYSES WILL BE MADE WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE IRISH CONSTRUCTION SECTOR.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

University College Dublin
Address
Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland