[ RadSafe ] Questions about radon

Michael McNaughton mcnaught at lanl.gov
Thu Apr 23 09:07:42 CDT 2009


Estimates, e.g., by NCRP and by UNSCEAR, vary by about a factor of 
two, so I agree that "it is difficult."

The estimate of "4 to 14 rem" might refer to organ dose or to 
whole-body dose. It is certainly far too high for whole-body dose. 
The NCRP estimates that the average whole-body dose from residential 
radon in the US is about 200 mrem/year, and this results from an 
average radon concentration of about 1 pCi/L. UNSCEAR-2000 contains a 
detailed discussion and includes several estimates using various methods.


At 06:34 PM 4/22/2009, Steven Dapra wrote:
>         Is anything true in this quote?
>         "The "action level" recommended by the Environmental 
> Protection Agency for radon in the air is 4 picocuries/liter of 
> air. It is difficult to convert air concentrations to actual 
> exposures in rems or sieverts, but estimates are in the range of 4 
> to 14 rem per year at that concentration. That makes it greater 
> that all the other routine environmental exposures combined."

Mike McNaughton
Los Alamos National Lab.
email: mcnaught at LANL.gov or mcnaughton at LANL.gov
phone: 505-667-6130; page: 505-664-7733 

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