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Measurement and Determination of Radon Source Potential: A Literature Review.

pdf icon Measurement and Determination of Radon Source Potential: A Literature Review. (14772 K)
Tanner, A. B.

NISTIR 5399; 196 p. April 1994.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB94-165602


building technology; diffusion; indoor radon; permeability; predictive methods; pressure-driven flow; radium activity concentration; radon availability; radon potential mapping; site-specific characterization; soil testing


Radon source potential may be estimated for areas of a nation, state, county, housing development, or building lot. The critical characteristics of the soil are its radium concentration, emanation coefficient, permeability to gas, and diffusion coefficient for radon under typical conditions. Best estimates of these critical characteristics are applied to a scheme for obtaining a tiered ranking of subareas of the area of interest (radon potential mapping), or to a model for obtaining a single qualitative or quantitative estimate of the radon source potential of a single site (site-specific characterization). This report summarizes and evaluates available information on radon potential mapping and site-specific characterization. More than 100 reports have been found that bear on radon potential mapping, and indicate fair to good agreement with indoor radon results where correlations have been possible. Because site-specific characterization is not generally cost effective, it has not been extensively tested; however, it can readily discriminate the order of magnitude of indoor radon concentration to be expected in the absence of special measures to prevent radon infiltration. Several situations are proposed as being appropriate for its use.