Volume 51, Number 4, October-December 2016
|Page(s)||249 - 254|
|Published online||23 November 2016|
Assessment of indoor radon levels in Portuguese thermal spas
1 CERENA, FEUP/UPorto - Centre for
Natural Resources and the Environment, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, R.
Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465, Porto,
2 PROA/LABIOMEP - Research Laboratory on Prevention of Occupational and Environmental Risks, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, R. Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465, Porto, Portugal.
3 CEMUC, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Coimbra, Rua Sílvio Lima, University of Coimbra - Polo II, 3030-790 Coimbra, Portugal.
Accepted: 12 October 2016
The concentration of radon was assessed in the indoor air of 14 thermal spas and in the home of a selected worker from each thermal spa. The measurements of the indoor radon concentration were carried out using CR-39 detectors, placed in both the workplaces and workers’ homes, exposed for an average period of 45 days, in different seasons of the year. For the thermal spas, the indoor radon concentration ranged between 73 and 4335 Bq m-3, with a geometric mean of 445 Bq m-3 and an arithmetic mean of 687 Bq m-3, and within the workers’ homes ranged between 68 and 4051 Bq m-3, with a geometric mean of 410 Bq m-3 and an arithmetic mean of 785 Bq m-3. The annual effective doses due to radon inhalation were calculated considering two different exposure scenarios for the thermal spas. For the worst-case scenario, assuming that workers do not have job rotation, the values varied between 1 and 31 mSv y-1, while for an exposure scenario considering job rotation, the calculated dose ranged between 0.6 and 16 mSv y-1. For workers’ homes, the calculated dose ranged between 2 and 102 mSv y-1. The results showed that the EU reference level of 300 Bq m-3 (Directive 2013/59/EURATOM) was exceeded in several cases. In 36% of the thermal spas the exposure of the workers is likely to exceed the effective dose of 6 mSv y-1 and in this case, according to the Directive, it should be considered as “a planned exposure situation”.
Key words: Radon / dose / occupational exposure / thermal spa
© EDP Sciences 2016
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