[ RadSafe ] Re: Thorium in gas lamps [ & Rn-222 in solar homes --risk perception in seeking the "simpler" life ]

Stewart Farber farbersa at optonline.net
Thu Jun 22 15:03:01 CDT 2006

Hi all,

An analogous thought to that expressed by Lou Molino about individuals 
seeking the "simpler" life relates to those who will build or occupy a solar 
heated home having a heat storage reservoir of 80 to 100 tons of crushed 

Solar homes of this type result in amazingly high emanations of Rn-222 from 
the crushed rock heat storage reservoir into the house air passing directly 
through it when heat is demanded after storing the gathered BTUs during 
periods of sunlight. Since these type of solar homes are built to be very 
tight from an air infiltration standpoint to conserve the heat gathered by 
the hot air panels, the occupants typically receive lung doses far, far 
higher than uranium miners are allowed to receive under Federal regs.

So while solar home occupants in this type home received lung doses of tens 
of rad or more, they worry about and put down nuclear power plants that 
might result in doses to members of the general public from operation or 
waste disposal from the nuclear fuel cycle in the fraction of a mrem -- a 
hundred thousand to a million times lower when figuring the QF for alpha 
dose to the lung from their solar home.

My calculations of the likely Rn-222 levels in solar heated homes with 
crushed granite heat storage reservoirs and my contacts with Dr. John Harley 
at the time at the DOE Environmental Measurments Lab, and colleagues at the 
New Hampshire Department of Health led to several studies by DOE in the late 
1970s showing just how elevated the Rn-222 levels were in these solar homes.

When the initial set of measurements were made in one home in Conway, NH 
during the summer of 1978, with the windows open ,showed sharply elevated 
Rn-222 levels, the EML wanted to arrange to do winter measurements when the 
house was buttoned up tight.

The homeowner said he would not permit wintertime measurements because 
accurate measurements of the actual Rn-222 levels inside a solar home would 
be "inimical to solar power development".

Risk perception, and decisionmaking in Bizzaro land.

Stewart Farber, MS Public Health
radproject at aol.com
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <LNMolino at aol.com>
To: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 2:13 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Thorium in gas lamps

> In a message dated 6/22/2006 11:54:18 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
> GRAHNk at comcast.net writes:
> They  contain radioactive material and have a warning about inhaling or
> ingesting  the ash.
> The sad part about that warning is that the folks that are likely to buy
> these items for "simpler" living and the like are likely never to consider
> inhaling or ingesting the ash of a burnt mantle!
> Louis N.  Molino, Sr., CET
> Freelance  Consultant/Trainer/Author/Journalist/Fire Protection 
> Consultant
> LNMolino at aol.com


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