Document Detail


Major influencing factors of indoor radon concentrations in Switzerland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24333637     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
PURPOSE: In Switzerland, nationwide large-scale radon surveys have been conducted since the early 1980s to establish the distribution of indoor radon concentrations (IRC). The aim of this work was to study the factors influencing IRC in Switzerland using univariate analyses that take into account biases caused by spatial irregularities of sampling.
METHODS: About 212,000 IRC measurements carried out in more than 136,000 dwellings were available for this study. A probability map to assess risk of exceeding an IRC of 300 Bq/m(3) was produced using basic geostatistical techniques. Univariate analyses of IRC for different variables, namely the type of radon detector, various building characteristics such as foundation type, year of construction and building type, as well as the altitude, the average outdoor temperature during measurement and the lithology, were performed comparing 95% confidence intervals among classes of each variable. Furthermore, a map showing the spatial aggregation of the number of measurements was generated for each class of variable in order to assess biases due to spatially irregular sampling.
RESULTS: IRC measurements carried out with electret detectors were 35% higher than measurements performed with track detectors. Regarding building characteristics, the IRC of apartments are significantly lower than individual houses. Furthermore, buildings with concrete foundations have the lowest IRC. A significant decrease in IRC was found in buildings constructed after 1900 and again after 1970. Moreover, IRC decreases at higher outdoor temperatures. There is also a tendency to have higher IRC with altitude. Regarding lithology, carbonate rock in the Jura Mountains produces significantly higher IRC, almost by a factor of 2, than carbonate rock in the Alps. Sedimentary rock and sediment produce the lowest IRC while carbonate rock from the Jura Mountains and igneous rock produce the highest IRC. Potential biases due to spatially unbalanced sampling of measurements were identified for several influencing factors.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant associations were found between IRC and all variables under study. However, we showed that the spatial distribution of samples strongly affected the relevance of those associations. Therefore, future methods to estimate local radon hazards should take the multidimensionality of the process of IRC into account.
Authors:
Georg Kropat; Francois Bochud; Michel Jaboyedoff; Jean-Pascal Laedermann; Christophe Murith; Martha Palacios; Sébastien Baechler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-12-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of environmental radioactivity     Volume:  129C     ISSN:  1879-1700     ISO Abbreviation:  J Environ Radioact     Publication Date:  2013 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-12-16     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8508119     Medline TA:  J Environ Radioact     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  7-22     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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