[ RadSafe ] Radon Progeny affinity for Iron Oxide (rust)

Dan McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Thu Sep 12 22:42:08 CDT 2013

Dear Douglas:

I posted this 12 hours ago, but there was a problem with the server.

Years ago, DOE / Grand Junction described dust related to radon progeny as
"sticky".  Likely the iron oxyhydroxide (FeOOH) (rust) forms a very good
surface to attract the dust / progeny. The surface is highly reactive and
probably adsorbs quite a bit of material. FeOOH has been used to model
environmental sorbents.



Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home – New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com

On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 9:58 AM, dcoble tds.net <dcoble at tds.net> wrote:

> Dear RadSafers,
> I am inquiring if there has been a study or report that supports the theory
> that Radon Progeny has an affinity for certain types of metal e.g., (rusty
> steel, galvanized steel, etc.)?  If so, can someone point me in the right
> direction or provide me a copy of the study or report?
> Most field Technicians in the environmental remediation arena are familiar
> with or have experienced at some point increased low level alpha counts
> with hand held instrumentation when trying to release metal objects for
> unrestricted use.  I personally have experienced it when surveying steel.
> Painted portions would be at or below background while rusty sections of
> the same piece of steel would produce alpha counts from 2 to 10 times
> background.  Considering free air background ranged from 0 to 2 cpm.
> Historical assessment of the area the steel came from revealed no known
> reason for the metal to be contaminated.  Surveys of the metal were
> required due to decommissioning plans or site specific procedures and were
> established to be conservative.  Additionally, resurveys or the same area 2
> or 3 days later would not indicate the presence of alpha emitters.  This
> leads me to believe that the culprit is Radon Progeny.
> Thanks in advance for any help that you may provide.
> Douglas Coble,
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