[ RadSafe ] Anyone have a comment ? about radon risk and 226 Ra in milk ??

blreider at aol.com blreider at aol.com
Tue Apr 28 17:40:25 CDT 2009


The remediation sites I was involved with in a review capacity used about 2.5 to 5 pCi/g Ra-226 as a soil cleanup level for unlimited future use by the public.  This generally is what the regulators would accept, and assumed a large volume homogenous source of Ra-226.  Your configuration is different with drywall: the volume is smaller & houses have air exchanges which reduce radon daughter buildup (WL) in the air.  Sheetrock is not the same as dealing with wall contamination but another benchmark that you can use in your evaluation is the USNRC Regulatory Guide 1.86 contamination guidelines for Ra-226 are 100dpm/100cm2 average total.  You can do the math to see how this works out.

My general feeling is that the amounts your lab identified are very low and would most likely be acceptable to your regulators. Regulators vary in what they accept in soil so there is no single answer from state to state and region to region.  To find out for sure you could contact the regulator, do a literature search to determine what has been acceptable at other local sites, and/or use a program such as RESRAD to evaluate risk in accordance with EPA acceptable methods for a worst-case building.

Also, as the below person indicated, it is always very important to consider the method of analysis, interferences and statistics when dealing with such small concentrations and quantities of radionuclides, just to verify that the data is indeed meaningful.  

Perhaps someone else h
as worked with acceptable levels in sheetrock, my information is only for soils.  Phil Rutherford has a website that has lots of remediation information:  http://www.philrutherford.com/Radiation_Cleanup_Standards/DECON-1.pdf

Good luck.

Barbara Reider, CHP

-----Original Message-----
From: William Levy <Associated Radon Services> <wlevy at radonserv.com>
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Sent: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 4:32 pm
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Anyone have a comment ? about radon risk and 226 Ra in milk ??

How about a CHP reply to the post

I made the following post ia Inspection News "By the way we are finding some 
26Ra in the recently tested drywall samples. Highest so far 0.332 pCi/g Is this 
nough for an indoor radon problem given the large areas of sheetrock ?? don't 
now yet
William Levy
Associated Radon Services
wlevy at radonserv.com
his thread is located at:
Caoimhín P. Connell
orensic Industrial Hygienist
orensic Industrial Hygiene

illiam Levy says “By the way we are finding some 226Ra in the recently tested 
rywall samples. Highest so far 0.332 pCi/g Is this enough for an indoor radon 
roblem given the large areas of sheetrock ?? don't know yet”
Yes, William, we do know – No William it is not a problem, and indeed, 0.3 pCi/g 
s an EXTREMELY small amount. And by the way, I got a kick out of the use of 
hree significant digit
s in your post (0.332). If you were to look at the data, 
ou would probably find a standard deviation of 20 or higher, therefore the 
irst significant digit is not reliable much less the last two. In any event 
ven if it were 500 pCi/g, it still wouldn’t be an issue (my goodness, a glass 
f milk runs at about 1,200 pCi/g!)
Considering for a moment that the average person reading this post has about 150 
rams of potassium in their body right now. William, as you sit and read this, 
f you are a normal human, YOU are irradiating 4,400 Bq (120,000 pCi) of K40, 
that equates to about 4,400 radioactive disintegrations per second) … so ask 
our colleagues to step away from you if you love them. 
Remember, not one study to date, NOT ONE, has demonstrated that radon as seen in 
omes has been able to demonstrate that it increases the risk of cancer one iota 
 and remember too, that the US EPA found that as radon concentrations in a home 
o up, the cancer risk goes DOWN.
aoimhín P. Connell
orensic Industrial Hygienist
orensic Industrial Hygiene

Anyone have a comment ??

ill Levy
illiam Levy
136 SE Orange St.      Stuart, FL  34997
00-741-0629     772-219-4334     Fax  772-287-1341
ww.radonserv.com           wlevy at radonserv.com
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