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The effects of geology and the impact of seasonal correction factors on indoor radon levels: a case study approach.

Research paper by Gavin K GK Gillmore, Paul S PS Phillips, Antony R AR Denman

Indexed on: 29 Jun '05Published on: 29 Jun '05Published in: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity



Abstract

Geology has been highlighted by a number of authors as a key factor in high indoor radon levels. In the light of this, this study examines the application of seasonal correction factors to indoor radon concentrations in the UK. This practice is based on an extensive database gathered by the National Radiological Protection Board over the years (small-scale surveys began in 1976 and continued with a larger scale survey in 1988) and reflects well known seasonal variations observed in indoor radon levels. However, due to the complexity of underlying geology (the UK arguably has the world's most complex solid and surficial geology over the shortest distances) and considerable variations in permeability of underlying materials it is clear that there are a significant number of occurrences where the application of a seasonal correction factor may give rise to over-estimated or under-estimated radon levels. Therefore, the practice of applying a seasonal correction should be one that is undertaken with caution, or not at all. This work is based on case studies taken from the Northamptonshire region and comparisons made to other permeable geologies in the UK.