National Technical University of Athens
School of Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear Engineering Department

Radon in the Living Environment, Athens, 19-23 April 1999
The Science of the Total Environment 272(1-3):253-260


Z.S. Zunic
Radiation Medicine Department
Institute of Nuclear Sciences "Vinca"
J.P. McLaughlin, C. Walsh
Physics Department
University College Dublin
A. Birovljev
Environmental Protection Department
Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority
S.E. Simopoulos
Nuclear Engineering Section
Mechanical Engineering Department
National Technical University of Athens
B. Jakupi
Physics Department
Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Yugoslavia
V. Gordanic
Geoinsitute, Yugoslavia.
M. Demajo
Radiation Medicine Department
Institute of Nuclear Sciences "Vinca"
F. Trotti
Venetian Reference Laboratory for Environmental Radioactivity
R. Falk
H. Vanmarcke, J. Paridaens
K. Fujimoto
Human Radiation Environment Division
National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Japan

The results of field investigations of natural radiation exposures of the general populations in two stable rural communities in Yugoslavia are presented. The principal emphasis was on exposures to contemporary indoor radon but measurements of external penetrating radiation absorbed dose rates in air were carried out in the majority of cases. In addition in a limited number of dwellings, measurements of thoron gas concentrations were made. By means of making a series of sequential three month radon measurements, both seasonal variations and annual average radon levels in the dwellings were determined. Using passive alpha track detectors, individual radon and thoron indoor concentrations as high as 9591 Bq/m3 and 709 Bq/m3 respectively were detected while absorbed dose rates in air in the dwellings as high as 430 nGy/hr were recorded.

On the basis of these different types of measurements, assessments could be made of the integrated natural radiation exposures being received by the populations. In addition to contemporary radon measurements, retrospective radon exposure assessments in most of the dwellings were made on the basis of measurements of 210Po concentrations in both surface (glass) traps and in volume (porous materials) traps.

A description is given of the sampling strategies and protocols used in this field work. It is shown that at least one stable rural community receiving high natural radiation exposures, has been clearly identified and plans for future health investigations of the population there are outlined.

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