[ RadSafe ] Contamination Monitor and Static Electricity

JGinniver at aol.com JGinniver at aol.com
Fri Sep 8 12:59:26 CDT 2006

Hi Kyle,
as others have said more information would help.  However I'm a bit  confused 
about the statement "with no confirmed activity after further  
investigation".  My experience with Radon is that you will  find measurable alpha activity 
using hand held portable contamination monitors  if the alarm is due to Radon 
being attracted by static on items or  clothing. Our policy is to hold back the 
item of clothing and re-monitor  after a couple of hours to confirm that it 
has gone, and hence was due to  Radon daughters. As others have said plastic 
hard hats and polyester pants  are favourite for this type of problem, but 
modern polyester fleece jackets are  also common culprits.  Consequently if your 
facility supplies clothing to  personnel to wear they should be supplying cotton 
clothing.  I understand  that some facilities also have problems with fission 
product Noble gases, as  these can also be attracted by static charges on 
clothing.  However this  can also e measured when the individual is checked 
following an alarm in the  Personnel Monitor.
Some modern units, (I think the IPM9 from Thermo and the Argos 6 from  
Canberra) have a radon compensation function.  I would suggest that you  contact the 
supplier of your equipment for further advice.
Regards Julian

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